Lutein and Zeaxanthin belong to the carotenoids. Vitamin A is a well-known member of this family. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are food components important for good functioning of the eyes and the brain. Moreover Lutein and Zeaxanthin are therapeutic nutraceuticals for the disease Age related Macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with AMD lose vision in the center of the visual field due to damage to the retina. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read and restrict activities of daily life. The prevalence of this disease is rapidly rising with the increase of the aging population. AMD is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in the elderly. The prevalence is >30% in the age group of 75 to 85 years.
Supplementation of Lutein and Zeaxanthin has been shown to retard the development of AMD. Recent studies indicate that early supplementation with Lutein and Zeaxanthin can delay the onset of AMD in the elderly. Further studies indicate that also brain diseases as Alzheimer are associated with low levels of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in brain and blood. These data have made Lutein and Zeaxanthin important nutraceuticals both for healthy individuals and for patients with developing disease.
Monitoring of Lutein and Zeaxanthin blood levels with the easy and friendly DBS method makes it possible to follow the effectivity of Lutein and Zeaxanthine supplementation on the improved blood level. Additionally monitoring can enhance the awareness of the effectivity of supplementation for patients: they observe that the intake of the nutraceuticals does affect their blood level, supporting the compliance for the product. Monitoring of Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be helpful in studies on the therapeutic effect of these nutraceuticals. DBSL will soon provide DBS assessment of Lutein and Zeaxanthin.