- Carotenoids are a group of phytonutrients that play an important role in human health via their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Three carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ) are exclusively found in the central part of the macula where they are commonly referred to as macular pigment (MP) . Recent studies have also shown that L and Z are also present in the brain .
- Measurement of these carotenoids in humans is challenging, costly and time consuming.
- Invasive measurements include:
Obtaining biological samples (blood, skin biopsies) for High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis.
- Minimally invasive measurements include:
MP measurements using dual-wavelength autofluorescence.
- With improvements in technology there is now the potential to non-invasively measure carotenoid status in the skin. Devices such as the Nu Skin Pharmanex S3 scanner measure total carotenoid concentration using Raman Spectroscopy.
- This work compares a non-invasive skin carotenoid score (SCS) to macular pigment volume (MPV) measurements.