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Emmanuel Kofi Addo, Aruna Gorusupudi, Paul S Bernstein; Association of carotenoid status between mothers and infants in the Lutein and Zeaxanthin in Pregnancy (L-ZIP) clinical trial. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):2986.
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Macular pigment (MP), comprised of the dietary carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z), and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), protects the macula from photo-oxidative damage and enhances visual acuity. MP selective accumulation in the human retina begins before birth, implying a possible physiological and protective role in early visual development. Given the paucity of data on maternal and infants’ carotenoid status during pregnancy, we sought to determine associations between postpartum maternal carotenoid status and newborn infants’ skin and umbilical cord blood carotenoids.
We used masked study data from participants who had completed the ongoing L-ZIP study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT 03750968; still recruiting). Participants were randomized (1:1 allocation) to consume daily a standard prenatal multivitamins (Spring Valley™ Prenatal Multi + DHA capsule) with an added capsule containing 10 mg L and 2 mg Z in safflower oil (Carotenoid group) or with a capsule containing only safflower oil with no added carotenoids (Control group) for a period of 6 to 8 months. Skin, MP, and serum carotenoids were measured at every study visit (i.e., baseline, before 14 weeks gestational age [GA]; 22-26 weeks GA; 37-39 weeks GA and 0-2 weeks of giving birth). Skin, MP, and serum carotenoid status assessments were by resonance Raman spectroscopy (RRS), dual-wavelength autofluorescence, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), respectively.
The present sample comprises 12 mother-infant pairs who had completed the ongoing L-ZIP study. Maternal serum L+Z levels significantly correlated with infant cord blood L+Z levels (r = 0.82, p = 0.002) and skin carotenoid levels (r = 0.59, p = 0.042). Maternal skin carotenoids significantly associated with infant cord blood L+Z levels (r = 0.60, p = 0.040). Infant skin carotenoids significantly correlated with cord blood L+Z levels (r = 0.61, p = 0.037). Maternal skin carotenoid levels correlated with serum L+Z levels (r = 0.63, p = 0.027).
Our findings indicate that maternal serum carotenoid status associates with carotenoid levels in infants. Hence, increasing maternal carotenoid status during pregnancy may improve infants’ carotenoid status and could consequently enhance infant visual development.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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