Macular pigment optical density is related to blood glutathione levels in healthy individuals

Lu Qin, Hannah E. Bartlett, Helen R. Griffiths, Frank Eperjesi, Richard A. Armstrong, Doina Gherghel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To assess the relationship between macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and blood markers for antioxidant defense in otherwise healthy volunteers. Methods. Forty-seven healthy volunteers were subjected to blood analysis to detect the level of circulating glutathione in its reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) forms. The level of MPOD was measured using heterochromatic flicker photometry. Systemic blood pressure (BP) parameters, heart rate (HR), body mass index (BMI), and plasma levels of total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (TGs) were also determined. Results. A simple correlation model revealed that the level of MPOD correlated significantly and positively with both GSH (P < 0.001) and t-GSH (P < 0.001) levels but not with those of GSSG (P > 0.05). Age, sex, systemic BP parameters, HR, BMI, and plasma levels of cholesterol and TGs did not have any influence on either MPOD or glutathione levels (all P > 0.05). In addition, a forward stepwise multiple regression analysis showed MPOD to have a significantly and independent correlation with GSH levels (ß = 0.63; P < 0.001). Conclusions. In otherwise healthy older individuals, there is a positive correlation between local and systemic antioxidant defense mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5029-5033
Number of pages5
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2011

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License. Copyright 2011 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.


  • macular pigment optical density
  • MPOD
  • blood markers
  • antioxidant defense
  • antioxidant defense mechanisms


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