May 2005
Volume 46, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2005
The Influence of Supplemental Lutein and Docosahexaenoic Acid on Their Serum Levels and on Macular Pigment
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • D.M. Snodderly
    Ophthalmology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA
  • H.C. Chung
    Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • S.M. Caldarella
    Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA
  • E.J. Johnson
    Tufts University, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  D.M. Snodderly, Mead Johnson F; Martek F; H.C. Chung, None; S.M. Caldarella, Mead Johnson F; Martek F; E.J. Johnson, Mead Johnson F; Martek F.
  • Footnotes
    Support  Mead Johnson, Martek, USDA
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2005, Vol.46, 1766. doi:
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      D.M. Snodderly, H.C. Chung, S.M. Caldarella, E.J. Johnson; The Influence of Supplemental Lutein and Docosahexaenoic Acid on Their Serum Levels and on Macular Pigment . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):1766.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Abstract: : Purpose: High dietary intakes of lutein and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and high macular pigment (MP) may be protective against age–related macular degeneration (AMD). Lutein is a main component of MP. DHA is a key fatty acid in the retina. The purpose of this study was to determine individual and combined effects of supplemental lutein (12 mg/d) and DHA (800 mg/d) on their serum levels and MP optical density (MPOD). Methods: Fifty healthy women (60–80 y) were randomly assigned to one of four supplemental groups: placebo, lutein, DHA, and lutein+DHA. Subjects consumed the supplement daily for 4 mos. Blood was collected at 0, 2 and 4 mo and analyzed for lutein and DHA. At baseline and 4 mo, MPOD was determined by heterochromatic flicker photometry at 0.4°, 1.5°, 3° and 5° temporal retinal eccentricities. The parafoveal reference was located at 7° temporal retinal eccentricity. Results: Serum levels of lutein significantly increased from baseline after 2 and 4 mo of lutein supplementation (with or without DHA). No significant changes in serum lutein were observed in the placebo and DHA groups. At 2 mo, the lutein+DHA group had significantly higher serum levels of lutein than all other groups (p <0.05). Serum levels of DHA significantly increased from baseline after 2 and 4 mo of DHA supplementation (with or without lutein) (p < 0.0001). No significant changes of serum DHA were observed for the placebo and lutein groups. In the lutein group, there was an increase in MPOD at the 3.0° (p <0.04) and 5° loci (p <0.05). In the DHA group, there was a significant increase in MPOD at the most central locus (0.4° locus, p <0.04) with no significant changes at other loci. In the combination group (lutein+DHA) there were significant increases in MPOD at the 0.4°, 1.5°, and 3°loci (p <0.04). Conclusions: Supplementation of these elderly women with lutein alone increased MPOD eccentrically whereas DHA supplementation alone resulted in central increases in MPOD. The combination of supplements had a combined effect on MPOD. DHA facilitated accumulation of lutein in the blood. These data may have implications for the use of supplemental lutein and DHA in AMD prevention.

Keywords: macular pigment • age-related macular degeneration • nutritional factors 

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