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Marie-Noëlle Delyfer, Benjamin Buaud, Jean-François Korobelnik, Marie-Bénédicte Rougier, Wolfgang Schalch, Stephane Etheve, Carole Vaysse, Nicole Combe, Mélanie Le Goff, Ute E. K. Wolf-Schnurrbusch, Sebastian Wolf, Pascale Barberger-Gateau, Cécile Delcourt; Association of Macular Pigment Density with Plasma Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The PIMAVOSA Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(3):1204-1210. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.11-8721.
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To assess the correlation between macular pigment optical density and plasma levels of lutein, zeaxanthin, and fatty acids, especially omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
The PIMAVOSA study is an observational study of 107 healthy volunteers, aged 20 to 60 years and born in southwest France, without histories of ocular disease. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was measured using the two-wavelength autofluorescence method with a modified scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Plasma measurements (lutein, zeaxanthin, and fatty acids) were performed from fasting blood samples collected on the day of the eye examination.
MPOD within 6° correlated with plasma levels of lutein and zeaxanthin (r = 0.35, P < 0.001, and r = 0.30, P < 0.005, respectively). MPOD also significantly correlated with total plasma omega-3 PUFAs (r = 0.22, P < 0.05). Among the different omega-3 PUFAs, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) had the highest correlation with MPOD (r = 0.31, P < 0.001), whereas correlation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was moderate (r = 0.21, P < 0.05) and did not reach statistical significance for docosahexaenoic acid (r = 0.14, P = 0.14).
In the present study, macular pigment density was associated not only with plasma lutein and zeaxanthin but also with omega-3 long-chain PUFAs, particularly with EPA and DPA. Further studies will be needed to confirm these findings and to identify the underlying mechanisms.
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