Author(s): Ciulla TA, Curran-Celantano J, Cooper DA, Hammond BR Jr, Danis RP, Pratt LM, Riccardi KA, Filloon TG. Macular pigment optical density in a midwestern sample. Ophthalmology. 2001 Apr;108(4):730-7. PMID 11297490
OBJECTIVE To assess the distribution of the macular pigments (MPs) lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) in a healthy sample more representative of the general population than past studies and to determine which dietary factors and personal characteristics might explain the large interindividual differences in the density of these MPs.
DESIGN Prevalence study in a self-selected population.
PARTICIPANTS Two hundred eighty healthy adult volunteers, consisting of 138 men and 142 women, between the ages of 18 and 50 years, recruited from the general population.
METHODS MP optical density was measured psychophysically at 460 nm by use of a 1 degrees test field. Serum was analyzed for carotenoid and vitamin E content with reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. Usual intakes of nutrients over the past year were determined by means of a food frequency questionnaire.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES MP optical density.
RESULTS Mean MP optical density measured 0.211 +/- 0.13, which is approximately 40% lower than the average reported in smaller, less representative studies. MP density was 44% lower in the bottom versus the top quintile of serum L and Z concentrations. Similarly, MP density was 33% lower in the bottom compared with the top quintile of L and Z intake. MP density was 19% lower in blue-grey-eyed subjects than in subjects with brown-black irises. When all variables were considered together in a general linear model of determinants of MP, statistically significant (P < 0.05) relationships were found between MP density and serum L and Z, dietary L and Z intake, fiber intake, and iris color.
CONCLUSIONS These data suggest that MP values in this healthy adult population are lower than in smaller select samples. Moreover, these data indicate that MP is related to serum L and Z, dietary L and Z intake, fiber intake, and iris color.