The Macular Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin Are Related to Increased Bone Density in Young Healthy Adults
Psychology Department, State University of New York at Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126, USA
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2017, 6(9), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6090078
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
Lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) status can be quantified by measuring their concentrations both in serum and, non-invasively, in retinal tissue. This has resulted in a unique ability to assess their role in a number of tissues ranging from cardiovascular to central nervous system tissue. Recent reports using animal models have suggested yet another role, a developmental increase in bone mass. To test this, we assessed L and Z status in 63 young healthy adults. LZ status was determined by measuring LZ in serum (using HPLC) and retina tissue (measuring macular pigment optical density, MPOD, using customized heterochromatic flicker photometry). Bone density was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Although serum LZ was generally not related to bone mass, MPOD was significantly related to bone density in the proximal femur and lumbar spine. In general, our results are consistent with carotenoids, specifically LZ, playing a role in optimal bone health.