What A Small Yellow Spot Can Tell You About Your Health…

How did a visual phenomenon emanating from a small yellow spot in the back of our eyes and seen at just the right moment by Emperor Constantine the Great change the course of history?

In a just released TedTalk by our longtime board member Dr. Lisa Renzi, art and history meet science as professor and researcher Dr. Renzi gives an eloquent and fascinating talk on lutein. She begins her talk with the following account:

Before a historic battle, when Emperor Constantine looked up and turned his eyes towards the blue sky at just the right angle, he saw a glowing cross in the sky which he interpreted as the cross of Christianity. His motto before battle then became “By This Conquer”. The battle was decisive and one year later the Roman Empire officially recognized Christianity as a religion, which slowly spread throughout Western Civilization and the rest is history….

Dr. Renzi states that the cross in the sky that changed the course of history can be seen by each of us. Haidinger’s Brushes is an entoptic phenomenon emanating from the macular pigments. In the following article, “Perception of Haidinger’s Brushes in Macular Disease Depends on Macular Pigment Density and Visual Acuity”, the authors state that the perception of Haidinger’s Brushes requires a minimum macular pigment density and that Haidinger’s Brushes visibility was better with higher MPOD levels. See the article below for an in-depth description of Haidinger’s Brushes.


Dr. Renzi‘s TedTalk makes a strong case for the importance of lutein and its isomers on visual function and brain health. Please share this wonderful video with colleagues and patients alike. Because of research on lutein and speed of visual processing in the brain that came out of her lab at the University of Georgia, many college and professional baseball teams now take supplemental lutein to increase their speed of visual processing. Dr. Renzi, OWNS is proud to have you on our board! In next week’s Wellness Spotlight, recent work by our very own Vice President, Dr. Pinakin Davey will be highlighted. Dr. Davey’s chapter on the management of diabetic eye disease using carotenoids will be shared. Dr. Davey makes a case for measuring MPOD levels in diabetes.

Watch the TedEx HERE: https://458rl1jp.r.us-east-1.awstrack.me/L0/https:%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fapp=desktop%26v=hJxDtmel_KQ/1/01000178ea8e8771-0d785461-b499-47c8-b7a6-8883915d7f9b-000000/tc4W96zUqE45gou4oa69qUkzbA0=210


Lisa Renzi Hammond, PH.D

Dr. Lisa Renzi Hammond earned her B.S., M.S. and doctorate degrees in psychology from the University of Georgia Neuroscience and Behavior Program. While at University of Georgia, Dr. Renzi specialized in neurological and visual development and studied ways in which implementing behavior changes influenced visual and cognitive function, as well as risk for acquired neurological diseases across the lifespan.

Dr. Renzi Hammond completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin while engaging in three disciplines: perceptual systems, neuroscience, and nutrition sciences. Dr. Renzi Hammond also served as a visiting scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, MA where she was a member of the Carotenoids in Health Laboratory.

Following her graduate and post-graduate training, Dr. Renzi returned to the University of Georgia and founded the Human Biofactors Laboratory, where she has completed clinical trials on the ways in which nutrition can impact various visual and cognitive functions and published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the topics of carotenoids and visual and neurological function and development. She has presented this research in a wide variety of national and international venues.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consensus and Controversy

Join the OWNS for a live lecture via ZOOM featuring William Harris, PhD. The 1-hour COPE lecture, “Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consensus and Controversy”, will overview several areas of health where omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have been shown to have beneficial effects. These include cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and all cause mortality. Controversy regarding their benefits remain in several arenas such as certain eye conditions, neurological diseases, and psychological disorders; and the possibility that these fatty acids could, in high doses, have some untoward effects has recently emerged.

WHEN: Thursday, April 29th, 7:30 CST

WHAT: 1-hour COPE Approved lecture

WHERE: Live VIA Zoom

Free to register

*supported by an unrestricted grant from Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals

Register Here: https://458rl1jp.r.us-east-1.awstrack.me/L0/https:%2F%2Focularnutritionsociety.org%2Fevent%2FAprilwebinar/1/01000178ea8e8771-0d785461-b499-47c8-b7a6-8883915d7f9b-000000/4YBzkc8ngpXh2ingy5Zysqq9nWM=210


Congratulations to OWNS Board Member Dr. Neda Gioia on recently become a Certified Nutrition Specialist!

Did you know that you can get a discount as an OWNS Member when you enroll in the CNS program through University of Western States?

Read about CNS program here: https://458rl1jp.r.us-east-1.awstrack.me/L0/https:%2F%2Focularnutritionsociety.org%2Fpage%2Fcns/1/01000178ea8e8771-0d785461-b499-47c8-b7a6-8883915d7f9b-000000/RxYMGT9ljJEE_ONA20ehR7RiYME=210