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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2004 Oct 15;430(2):163-9.

Resonance Raman measurement of macular carotenoids in the living human eye.

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Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Moran Eye Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, USA.


There is growing evidence that high levels of the macular xanthophyll carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may be protective against visual loss from age-related macular degeneration. To study this protective effect further, it is important to measure macular carotenoid levels noninvasively in a wide variety of subjects. We have developed and validated resonance Raman spectroscopy as a sensitive and specific objective method to measure macular carotenoid levels in the living human eye. In this minireview, the principles and implementation of ocular carotenoid resonance Raman spectroscopy are reviewed, and the results of observational cross-sectional studies and of prospective supplementation studies on subjects with and without macular pathology are summarized. We have recently extended this technology to an imaging mode which will further enhance our understanding of the roles of lutein and zeaxanthin in normal macular function and in the prevention of age-related visual loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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