Non-invasive assessment of retinal carotenoids as a biomarker of overall health status
Renzi, Lisa Marie
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The purpose of this investigation was to examine the utility of measures of macular pigment optical density (MPOD) as a biomarker of systemic wellness. Forty-nine individuals aged 24-76 from the Athens-Clarke County Community were selected for participation. Serum lipid profiles, fasting glucose, anthropometric measures, and MPOD were measured, and information regarding smoking status and dietary intake of fruits and vegetables was collected. A positive association was detected between MPOD measured at the one-degree and two-degree sites and balance time (r = 0.37, r = 0.41, respectively; p ” 0.05). In addition, a marginally significant inverse relation was detected between MPOD and serum triglycerides (r = -0.24, p ” 0.095). MPOD was also significantly lower in smokers (t = -2.93, p ” 0.05). Significant relations were not detected between MPOD and any of the other wellness indices tested. Consequently, the utility of MPOD as a biomarker of overall wellness is questionable, although MP may represent an independent proportion of variance for vision system health.