At a recent conference in Munich, Germany on lutein and eye health, Professor B. Randall Hammond, PhD, discussed the ability to use lutein as a biomarker to correlate its presence in the retina with eye health and therapies for diseased eyes.
Lutein is readily measurable in the retina using non-invasive techniques that can validate that what is being measured is actually lutein. This is not the case for many other nutrients, and makes it possible to use lutein as a biomarker. This then allows researchers to correlate the presence of lutein with factors such as eating certain foods, or the presence of disease.
In fact, correlating lutein with physiological effects is the next frontier for scientists, and there are currently several ongoing studies investigating precisely that. For example, studies are looking at whether lutein can improve vision through reducing glare disability or aiding photostress recovery. Dr. Hammond comments that these things are easy to measure, and will help establish lutein as a biomarker that is linked to beneficial physiological effects.
To hear an interview with Dr. Hammond, click here.
Risa Schulman, PhD
Expert, Healthy Food and Dietary Supplement Science, Marketing and Regulatory