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In search of lutein eye health biomarkers

24-Mar-2011

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Biomarkers for eye health nutrient lutein deserve validation, says a leading academic in the area.

At a Kemin and DSM-sponsored event in Munich, Germany, Professor B Randall Hammond, PhD, from the psychology department of the University of Georgia, explained the development of measures in the area, and why they deserve recognition.

“Unlike many nutrients, you can actually measure the amount of lutein in the retina using non-invasive methodologies,” professor Hammond said after giving a presentation about the role of lutein in the human macula.

“You can tell it is lutein because you can measure the actual identity of the chemical. So you can measure its absorption spectrum and then validate that indeed it is lutein and this has been done using a variety of methods.

“So we can bring in a patient and just within a few minutes measure the exact amount of lutein in the retina and that sets all of the parameters of what is meant by a biomarker.”

“The question is does the amount of lutein in the retina relate to a functional endpoint – improve your vision in some way. That’s a different kind of biomarker.”

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