Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are members of the carotenoid family best known for another one of its members beta-carotene. Lutein and zeaxanthin have similar benefits and lutein is a carotenoid found in a vast number of fruits and vegetables. Lutein has antioxidant activity in various tissues, but in only one of two that is stored within the retina where it promotes the integrity and density of the macular pigment, a key component of ocular health. Multiple clinical studies suggest a direct relationship between lutein supplementation and macula lutein concentration. Lutein uptake reportedly occurs in the receptor layer of the eye through a soluble carotenoid-binding protein called tubulin. Clinical trials have indicated that lutein specifically supports vision health through a combination of pigment associated antioxidant protection and light screening mechanisms.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplements
Lutein and zeaxanthin filter out potentially phototoxic blue light and near-ultraviolet radiation from the macula. The protective effect is due in part, to the reactive oxygen species quenching ability of these arytenoids. Further, lutein and zeaxanthin are more stable to decomposition by pro-oxidants than are other carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the only two carotenoids that have been identified in the human lens, may be protective against age-related increase in lens density and cataract formation. Lutein and zeaxanthin have shown promise in protecting against macular degeneration and reducing the risk of cataracts. In a multi-center study of 356 subjects aged 55-80 years, all diagnosed with advanced stage macular degeneration, a high dietary intake of carotenoids was associated with a 43% lower risk for age-related macular degeneration compared to those consuming low quantities of these carotenoids. Lutein and zeaxanthin were most strongly associated with reduced macular degeneration risk.
this article on Lutein and Zeaxanthin is informational and not to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition