New Research Connects MPOD and Cognitive Performance for Kids

Posted by EyePromise on Feb 29th 2024

Nutrition is important for any stage of life, but it’s especially important for children’s development. From physical size and growth to mental development, there are certain nutrients that kids need to progress. In fact, researchers in a new study strengthened the connection between nutrition and cognitive function in children, specifically testing two well-known eye-healthy antioxidants.

Benefits of Dietary Zeaxanthin and Lutein

As you likely know, zeaxanthin and lutein are most well-known for their impact on eye health. Found deep in the eye, these two dietary antioxidants work together to protect the sensitive cells responsible for crisp clear vision. However, their benefits don’t stop at the protective qualities. Increasing daily intake of dietary zeaxanthin and lutein has been demonstrated to support better vision, improving functions like visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, light sensitivity, and glare recovery.

Additionally, zeaxanthin and lutein’s benefits extend beyond the eyes. Found in the blood, skin, and brain, these critical nutrients both protect and enhance these areas of the body. For example, when dietary zeaxanthin is found in optimal levels in the skin, it defends against harmful light and can provide anti-aging benefits. Furthermore, several clinical studies connect these critical ingredients to improved cognitive functions like visual processing speed, memory, and focus for adults and children alike.

The Latest Research

A recent double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study tested dietary zeaxanthin and lutein (Z+L) supplementation’s impact on dynamic visual and cognitive performance in children ages 5 to 12 years old. In total, 60 children participated in the 180-day study and were separated into two arms: Z+L supplementation and placebo. Researchers measured:

  • Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) by way of heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP)
  • Serum levels of Z+L
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
  • Critical flicker fusion (CFF)
  • Eye strain and fatigue using visual analogue scales (VAS)
  • Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire-Abbreviated (CSHQ-A)
  • Creyos Health cognitive domains (attention, focus/concentration, episodic memory and learning, visuospatial working memory, and visuospatial processing speed)


The children supplementing with Z+L saw significant increases in MPOD at all check-in points, with “significant increases” recorded as early as 42 days after starting the regimen. They also recorded increases in serum Z+L serum and BDNF levels and reduced eyestrain and fatigue as compared to the placebo group. Finally, cognitive performance improvements were also recorded for the supplementation group at both the 90- and 180-day check-ins. Participants saw improvements in:

  • Focus
  • Attention
  • Episodic memory and learning
  • Visuospatial working memory and processing speed

The researchers recorded no safety concerns with the supplementation.

Help Parents In Your Practice with EyePromise® Screen Shield™ Teen

With all the emerging research, you may be wondering if there’s a nutraceutical option you can offer your pediatric patients. EyePromise worked with experts to craft a science-backed eye health nutraceutical that’s safe for children. This led to the development of EyePromise Screen Shield Teen, a one-a-day, fruit punch-flavored chewable tablet designed for children ages 4-17 years old. It’s gluten, sugar, and GMO-free and delivers high-quality, dietary zeaxanthin and lutein along with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc.

Learn more about Screen Shield Teen.

Start offering your patients eye and cognitive benefits with EyePromise Screen Shield Teen!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.