The effect of nutritional supplementation on the multifocal electroretinogram in healthy eyes
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Previous studies have demonstrated an increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) with lutein (L)-based supplementation in healthy eyes. However, not all studies have assessed whether this increase in MPOD is associated with changes to other measures of retinal function such as the multifocal ERG (mfERG). Some studies also fail to report dietary levels of L and zeaxanthin (Z). Because of the associations between increased levels of L and Z, and reduced risk of AMD, this study was designed to assess the effects of L-based supplementation on mfERG amplitudes and latencies in healthy eyes.
Multifocal ERG amplitudes, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, MPOD and dietary levels of L and Z were assessed in this longitudinal, randomized clinical trial. Fifty-two healthy eyes from 52 participants were randomly allocated to receive a L-based supplement (treated group), or no supplement (non-treated group).
There were 25 subjects aged 18–77 (mean age ± SD; 48 ± 17) in the treated group and 27 subjects aged 21–69 (mean age ± SD; 43 ± 16) in the non-treated group. All participants attended for three visits: visit one at baseline, visit two at 20 weeks and visit three at 40 weeks. A statistically significant increase in MPOD (F = 17.0, p ≤ 0.001) and shortening of mfERG ring 2 P1 latency (F = 3.69, p = 0.04) was seen in the treated group.
Although the results were not clinically significant, the reported trend for improvement in MPOD and mfERG outcomes warrants further investigation.
KeywordsLutein Macular pigment optical density Multifocal electroretinogram Randomized trial
Bausch and Lomb provided financial support in the form of Ph.D. funding. The sponsor had no role in the design or conduct of this research.
Compliance with ethical standards
Statement of human rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Statement on the welfare of animals
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of interest
All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
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