It was standing room only at the Ocular Nutrition Society’s (ONS) Fourth Annual Education Symposium at Academy 2011 Boston. “This is the best turnout we have ever experienced at one of our meetings—nearly 100 registered attendees,” said ONS president Jeffrey Anshel, O.D.
Johanna Seddon, M.D., Sc.M., fielded questions following her keynote
presentation at the ONS Symposium.
Keynote speaker Johanna Seddon, M.D., Sc.M., director of the ophthalmic epidemiology and genetics service at the New England Eye Center at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, began the symposium with a description of her experience in pioneering some of the earliest research on the protective effect of nutritional supplementation against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). “My colleagues and I reported in 1994 that oral lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids could possibly reduce the risk of progression of AMD,” she said.
Later in the symposium, Billy R. Hammond, Jr., PhD, professor of psychology in the behavioral and brain sciences program at the University of Georgia, reviewed current data on the relationship between dietary carotenoid intake and proper visual function. “Only two carotenoids are selectively accumulated in the eye––lutein and zeaxanthin,” he said. “Research from multiple studies suggests that supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin not only protects the macula against blue light damage, but also reduces glare disability and discomfort, improves chromatic contrast, and increases photostress recovery and visual processing speed.”