MPOD: A Critical Biomarker for Age-Related Eye Health Issues
Posted by EyePromise on Feb 2nd 2023
February is commonly observed as Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Awareness Month. Declining vision can be detrimental to patients’ quality of life, and age-related eye health issues are one of the leading causes of vision loss in the U.S. The best way to protect patients from age-related eye health issues is to keep them from developing it, and knowing the risk factors for it can help you determine which of your patients need intervention. However, not everyone is measuring a critical biomarker for age-related eye health issues.
Macula & Age-Related Eye Health Issues
Age-related eye health issues affect the center of the fovea called the macula. Oxidative stress caused by harmful blue light degrades the macula over time, eventually causing vision distortion and loss. The macula has a protective layer called the macular pigment, which is designed to absorb this harmful light that can degrade the macula and lead to age-related eye health issues.
Macular pigment is made up of two dietary carotenoids: zeaxanthin and lutein. Because the body does not supply these nutrients on its own, patients must ingest these nutrients to sustain a healthy or dense macular pigment. The less zeaxanthin and lutein they are ingesting, the thinner the macular pigment and the more at risk the macula is.
Macular Pigment Optical Density
Understanding whether a patient is at a higher risk for age-related eye health issues starts by understanding the health of the macular pigment, or their macular pigment optical density (MPOD). MPOD is a well-defined modifiable risk factor for developing age-related eye health issues, and it can be improved by increasing zeaxanthin and lutein intake.
Most eye care professionals recommend patients take an eye health nutraceutical to increase MPOD, but not all nutraceuticals offer the ingredients necessary to make measurable improvements. Additionally, if you’re not measuring MPOD, you can’t know the level your patient is at or if what you’ve prescribed is working.
EyePromise® & MPOD
EyePromise is the leading nutritional partner in the eye care space. EyePromise programs can be tailored to fit individual practices and offer state-of-the-art MPOD measurement technology and clinically proven nutraceuticals. EyePromise has Regional Account Managers located across the country who can help train you and your staff on completing the MPOD measurement exam, explaining the importance of the score, and the prescription of EyePromise nutraceuticals.
The 2- to 3-minute monocular exam easily fits into any testing lane or exam room and offers a simple score between 0.0 and 1.0 to help you and your patients easily understand their level of risk. Along with measuring capabilities, an EyePromise partnership includes the only line of ocular nutraceuticals guaranteed to increase patients’ MPOD with 6 months of consistent supplementation. This comprehensive line of nutraceuticals supports macular health along with:
If you’re interested in learning more about partnering with EyePromise, have your local EyePromise Regional Account Manager contact you!
MPOD = More Than Age-Related Eye Health
You may know that MPOD is a critical risk factor for age-related eye health issues, but this measurement can be used as a biomarker for several other health concerns. Zeaxanthin and lutein are found in the eyes, skin, blood serum, and brain. Measuring the amounts in the eyes (i.e., MPOD measurement), can give practitioners a better understanding of the overall levels in the body. Why does this matter? Because zeaxanthin and lutein act as protective antioxidants in more than just the eyes.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein In the Brain
The eyes are an extension of the brain. Zeaxanthin and lutein have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, giving them a protective quality within the eyes, and it’s thought that they can offer the same supportive elements to cognitive function. By supplementing with high levels of dietary zeaxanthin and lutein, patients can experience improved memory, psychomotor and processing speed, and attention span.
Learn more about zeaxanthin and lutein for the brain.
Zeaxanthin In the Skin
Zeaxanthin is often referred to as a pigment, and its protective qualities have been shown to benefit our skin, too. One study found that it may inhibit certain lipid oxidation and provide protection against high-energy light sources that can damage skin cells. Another study linked higher zeaxanthin levels to reduced light-induced skin damage, especially from ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Another study showed that zeaxanthin can reduce inflammation caused by UV rays.
Learn more about zeaxanthin’s support of the skin.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein for Sleep
Macular pigment’s job is to absorb harmful blue light to keep it from damaging the eye. This type of light has been linked to disrupted sleep cycles, too, demonstrating a suppression of melatonin and a 3-hour delay in sleep onset in a Harvard study. Another study proved that an increase in MPOD can help mitigate blue light’s effect on sleep.
Learn more about zeaxanthin and lutein’s impact on sleep.
Measuring MPOD is a critical piece of the overall age-related eye health care puzzle, and EyePromise is the practice partner to get you started. With clinically validated products and world-class customer support, EyePromise works with you to help you become successful with the program.