Lutein & Zeaxanthin are xanthophylls, a type of carotenoid that can be found in dietary sources and are protective for the eyes and brain (1).
Lutein & Zeaxanthin Benefits
- Promotes healthy eye function during aging (ref)*
- Supports healthy cognitive function (ref)*
- Reduces oxidative stress in tissues, notably the eyes (in-vitro human eye tissue) (ref)*
Lutein & Zeaxanthin Mode of Action
Lutein & Zeaxanthin are carotenoids which are a class of over 750 pigments synthesized by plants, photosynthetic bacteria, and algae. They are the sources of the red, yellow, and orange colors of many fruits, vegetables, and plants. The dietary intake of fruits and vegetables provide 40 to 50 carotenoids. The most common dietary carotenoids are alpha-Carotene, Beta-carotene, Beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene (2).
Carotenoids are divided into two groups: xanthophylls and carotenes. Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to the xanthophylls group which are characteristic of the yellow carotenoid pigments (3). Lutein and zeaxanthin are “nonprovitamin A” carotenoids because unlike alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, they cannot be converted into Vitamin A (retinol) (2).
Carotenoids deactivate oxidants within plants that are formed during photosynthesis (2). In humans, zeaxanthin can scavenge free peroxyl radicals and promotes direct antioxidant activity (1). The cognitive benefits related to Lutein and Zeaxanthin are believed to be due to the reduction of chronic oxidative stress and the anti-inflammatory activity both carotenoids promote. These activities may maintain brain structure while aging (4).
The most important benefit Lutein & Zeaxanthin provide for humans is the ability to protect the eyes and the brain. They absorb blue light because of their molecular bonds which allow the pigments to absorb approximately 90% of blue light. Blue light is a short-wavelength light and Lutein & Zeaxanthin protect the eye from these wavelengths and reduce oxidative damage to the eyes (2). Lutein & Zeaxanthin are known as “macular pigments” because they collect in the macula of the eye and the high concentration in the macula prevents ocular degeneration associated with aging (5).
Lutein, alone or in combination with Zeaxanthin, may reduce visual fatigue and may improve contrast sensitivity in younger, healthy individuals as well as protecting older adults. Lutein has been noted to stimulate neuronal signaling in the eye as well (2).
Common dietary sources of zeaxanthin are eggs (especially yolks), peaches, and dark greens; however, eggs are more bioavailable than dark greens for this carotenoid (1). Lutein is found in very high amounts in spinach and eggs, which are more bioavailable than in the greens. Carotenoids absorb better when taken with fatty acids. From plant sources, lutein is best absorbed by plants like dark greens that have not undergone heat treatment or cooking. Lutein’s absorption from plants can be boosted by ingesting with a meal that contains fatty acids, but eggs remain the best and most bioavailable source regardless of heat preparation (5). Other factors such as the type of fat needed to aid absorption (medium-chain or long-chain triglycerides), soluble fiber content, and the type of carotenoids also influence the absorption rate (2).
Supplements containing Lutein & Zeaxanthin which are in a carrier oil are more efficiently absorbed than food sources of these carotenoids. Carotenoids that do not need to be released from the plant matrix, coupled with oil, improves the absorption rate (2). Pure Nootropics’ Lutein & Zeaxanthin Capsules contain Safflower oil for exceptional bioavailability.
There is no RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) for lutein & zeaxanthin; however, the clinical studies focused on the therapeutic benefits demonstrated that 10 mg/day of Lutein and 2 mg/day of Zeaxanthin provided protective results (6).
Lutein & Zeaxanthin Dosage
Pure Nootropics’ Lutein & Zeaxanthin provide 10 mg of Lutein and 2 mg of Zeaxanthin per 1 capsule. Suggested use for adults is 1 capsule daily, or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.
Lutein & Zeaxanthin Side Effects and Toxicity
Please note: this product should be avoided if you are allergic to daisy-like flowers.
Lutein supplements up to 20 mg daily have not resulted in adverse side effects (7). In mice, a no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) was at 1000 mg/kg/day (8).
Zeaxanthin in humans at a level up to 20 mg/day for up to 6 months has shown no adverse effects (9).
For further information, please see our References Tab above.