Advertisement

Promoting Eye and Skin Health Through Intake of the Natural Carotenoid Lutein

  • Brandon Lewis

Abstract

Carotenoids in general are yellow, orange, or red lipophilic pigments that provide many of the colors found in nature. To date, over 600 carotenoids have been identified in nature and are produced by plants, algae, and bacteria. Animals appear to be incapable of biosynthesizing carotenoids, but many animals use them for a variety of purposes and therefore must obtain carotenoids from their diet. Two carotenoids receiving increased attention in the scientific literature are lutein and its isomer, zeaxanthin. In the human eye, lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in the macula and referred to as the macular pigment. Lutein is thought to function primarily in the eye as a filter of light, specifically blue wavelengths of light, and as an antioxidant. Large case-control studies indicating relationships between lutein, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and cataracts were first published in the 1990s. In these studies, consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin was associated with a significant trend for decreased risk of AMD and cataract extraction. Since this time, relationships between dietary intake, serum concentrations, and macular pigment levels have been documented. The newest clinical research in subjects diagnosed with early AMD or cataracts indicates lutein supplementation after diagnosis may improve visual performance and augments earlier evidence that the dry form of AMD and cataracts may be responsive to changes in nutrition. As in the eyes, lutein is deposited in the skin. Lutein is thought to perform a similar function in the skin as in the eye, and epidemiological evidence, as well as animal studies, indicate a possible beneficial effect of supplementation. Nevertheless, a variety of questions remain unanswered. Future research should begin to confirm the potential of lutein to affect individuals already diagnosed with AMD or cataracts, and validate the beneficial effects of lutein on skin health in human populations.

Key Words

Lutein zeaxanthin eye health skin health 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Khachik F, Beecher GR, Goli MB, Lusby WR, Smith JC, Jr. Separation and identification of carotenoids and their oxidation products in the extracts of human plasma. Anal Chem 1992;64(18): 2111–2122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Krinsky NI, Russett MD, Handelman GJ, Snodderly DM. Structural and geometrical isomers of carotenoids in human plasma. J Nutr 1990; 120(12): 1654–1662.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Goulinet S, Chapman MJ. Plasma LDL and HDL subspecies are heterogenous in particle content of tocopherols and oxygenated and hydrocarbon carotenoids. Relevance to oxidative resistance and atherogenesis. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 1997;17(4):786–796.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sujak A, Gabrielska J, Grudzinski W, Borc R, Mazurek P, Gruszecki WI. Lutein and zeaxanthin as protectors of lipid membranes against oxidative damage: the structural aspects. Arch Biochem Biophys 1999;371(2):301–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sujak A, Okulski W, Gruszecki WI. Organisation of xanthophyll pigments lutein and zeaxanthin in lipid membranes formed with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine. Biochim Biophys Acta 2000; 1509(1–2):255–263.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kuhlbrandt W, Wang DN, Fujiyoshi Y. Atomic model of plant light-harvesting complex by electron crystallography. Nature 1994;367(6464):614–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Khachik F, Bernstein PS, Garland DL. Identification of lutein and zeaxanthin oxidation products in human and monkey retinas. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1997;38(9):1802–1811.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    van Vliet T. Absorption of beta-carotene and other carotenoids in humans and animal models. Eur J Clin Nutr 1996;50Suppl 3:S32–S37.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Parker RS. Absorption, metabolism, and transport of carotenoids. FASEB 1996;10(5):542–551.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Peng YM, Peng YS, Lin Y. A nonsaponification method for the determination of carotenoids, retinoids, and tocopherols in solid human tissues. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1993;2(2): 139–144.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Landrum JT, Bone RA. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and the macular pigment. Arch Biochem Biophys 2001;385(1):28–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Craft NE, Haitema TB, Garnett KM, Fitch KA, Dorey CK. Carotenoid, tocopherol, and retinol concentrations in elderly human brain. J Nutr Health Aging 2004;8(3):156–162.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yeum KJ, Ahn SH, Rupp de Paiva SA, Lee-Kim YC, Krinsky NI, Russell RM. Correlation between carotenoid concentrations in serum and normal breast adipose tissue of women with benign breast tumor or breast cancer. J Nutr 1998; 128(11): 1920–1926.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bernstein PS, Khachik F, Carvalho LS, Muir GJ, Zhao DY, Katz NB. Identification and Quantitation of Carotenoids and their Metabolites in the Tissues of the Human Eye. Exp Eye Res 2001;72(3):215–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Castenmiller JJ, West CE, Linssen JP, van het Hof KH, Voragen AG. The food matrix of spinach is a limiting factor in determining the bioavailability of beta-carotene and to a lesser extent of lutein in humans. J Nutr 1999;129(2):349–355.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    van het Hof KH, Brouwer IA, West CE, et al. Bioavailability of lutein from vegetables is 5 times higher than that of beta-carotene. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(2):261–268.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Handelman GJ, Nightingale ZD, Lichtenstein AH, Schaefer EJ, Blumberg JB. Lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations in plasma after dietary supplementation with egg yolk. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 70(2):247–251.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chung HY, Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ. Lutein bioavailability is higher from lutein-enriched eggs than from supplements and spinach in men. J Nutr Aug 2004;134(8):1887–1893.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Brown L, Rimm EB, Seddon JM, et al. A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in US men. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(4):517–524.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chasan-Taber L, Willett WC, Seddon JM, et al. A prospective study of carotenoid and vitamin A intakes and risk of cataract extraction in US women. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;70(4):509–516.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gonzalez S, Astner S, An W, Goukassian D, Pathak MA. Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin decreases ultraviolet B-induced epidermal hyperproliferation and acute inflammation in hairless mice. J Invest Dermatol. Aug 2003;121(2):399–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lee EH, Faulhaber D, Hanson KM, et al. Dietary lutein reduces ultraviolet radiation-induced inflammation and immunosuppression. J Invest Dermatol. Feb 2004; 122(2):510–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Millen AE, Tucker MA, Hartge P, et al. Diet and melanoma in a case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev Jun 2004;13(6):1042–1051.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Morganti P, Bruno C, Guarneri F, Cardillo A, Del Ciotto P, Valenzano F. Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress. Int J Cosmetic Science 2002;24:331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Richer S, Stiles W, Statkute L, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry 2004;75(4):216–230.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Krinsky NI, Landrum JT, Bone RA. Biologic mechanisms of the protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye. Annu Rev Nutr 2003;23:171–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Bone RA, Landrum JT, Fernandez L, Tarsis SL. Analysis of the macular pigment by HPLC: retinal distribution and age study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1988;29(6):843–849.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bone RA, Landrum JT, Hime GW, Cains A, Zamor J. Stereochemistry of the human macular carotenoids. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1993;34(6):2033–2040.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Johnson EJ, Neuringer M, Russell RM, Schalch W, Snodderly DM. Nutritional Manipulation of Primate Retinas, III: Effects of Lutein or Zeaxanthin Supplementation on Adipose Tissue and Retina of Xanthophyll-Free Monkeys. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2005;46(2):692–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wooten BR, Hammond BR. Macular pigment: influences on visual acuity and visibility. Prog Retin Eye Re. 2002;21(2):225–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Friedman DS, O’Colmain BJ, Munoz B, et al. Prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol Apr 2004;122(4):564–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brown B, Adams AJ, Coletta NJ, Haegerstrom-Portnoy G. Dark adaptation in age-related maculopathy. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 1986;6(1):81–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kleiner RC, Enger C, Alexander MF, Fine SL. Contrast sensitivity in age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1988;106(1):55–57.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Midena E, Segato T, Blarzino MC, Degli Angeli C. Macular drusen and the sensitivity of the central visual field. Doc Ophthalmol 1994;88(2):179–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Midena E, Degli Angeli C, Blarzino MC, Valenti M, Segato T. Macular function impairment in eyes with early age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Feb 1997;38(2):469–477.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Klein R, Klein BE, Jensen SC, Meuer SM. The five-year incidence and progression of age-related maculopathy: the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Ophthalmolog. 1997;104(1):7–21.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Arch Ophthalmol 1993;111(1):104–109.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Seddon JM, Ajani UA, Sperduto RD, et al. Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. JAMA 1994;272(18): 1413–1420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Curran-Celentano J, Hammond BR, Jr., Ciulla TA, Cooper DA, Pratt LM, Danis RB. Relation between dietary intake, serum concentrations, and retinal concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin in adults in a Midwest population. Am J Clin Nutr 2001;74(6):796–802.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Broekmans WM, Berendschot TT, Klopping-Ketelaars IA, et al. Macular pigment density in relation to serum and adipose tissue concentrations of lutein and serum concentrations of zeaxanthin. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76(3):595–603.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Bone RA, Landrum JT, Mayne ST, Gomez CM, Tibor SE, Twaroska EE. Macular pigment in donor eyes with and without AMD: a case-control study. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2001;42(1):235–240.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Aleman TS, Duncan JL, Bieber ML, et al. Macular pigment and lutein supplementation in retinitis pigmentosa and usher syndrome. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2001;42(8):1873–1881.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Duncan JL, Aleman TS, Gardner LM, et al. Macular pigment and lutein supplementation in choroideremia. Exp Eye Res 2002;74(3):371–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Berendschot TT, Goldbohm RA, Klopping WA, van de Kraats J, van Norel J, van Norren D. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2000;41(11):3322–3326.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hammond BR, Johnson EJ, Russell RM, et al. Dietary modification of human macular pigment density. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1997;38(9):1795–1801.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Johnson EJ, Hammond BR, Yeum KJ, et al. Relation among serum and tissue concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin and macular pigment density. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(6):1555–1562.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Landrum JT, Bone RA, Joa H, Kilburn MD, Moore LL, Sprague KE. A one year study of the macular pigment: the effect of 140 days of a lutein supplement. Exp Eye Res 1997;65(1):57–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for agerelated macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119(10):1417–1436.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Richer S. ARMD—pilot (case series) environmental intervention data. J Am Optom Assoc 1999;70(1):24–36.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Chitchumroonchokchai C, Bomser JA, Glamm JE, Failla ML. Xanthophylls and α-Tocopherol Decrease UVB-Induced Lipid Peroxidation and Stress Signaling in Human Lens Epithelial Cells. J Nutr Dec 2004;134(12):3225–3232.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Lyle BJ, Mares-Perlman JA, Klein BE, Klein R, Greger JL. Antioxidant intake and risk of incident age-related nuclear cataracts in the Beaver Dam Eye Study. Am J Epidemiol 1999;149(9):801–809.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Gale CR, Hall NF, Phillips DI, Martyn CN. Plasma antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and agerelated cataract. Ophthalmology 2001;108(11):1992–1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Olmedilla B, Granado F, Blanco I, Vaquero M. Lutein, but not alpha-tocopherol, supplementation improves visual function in patients with age-related cataracts: a 2-y double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Nutrition 2003;19(1):21–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Lange BA, Buettner GR. Electron paramagnetic resonance detection of free radicals in UV-irradiated human and mouse skin. Curr Probl Dermatol 2001;29:18–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    O’Connor I, O’Brien N. Modulation of UVA light-induced oxidative stress by beta-carotene, lutein and astaxanthin in cultured fibroblasts. J Dermatol Sci 1998;16(3):226–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wingerath T, Sies H, Stahl W. Xanthophyll esters in human skin. Arch Biochem Biophys 1998;355(2):271–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Greenway HT, Pratt S. Skin tissue levels of carotenoids, vitamin A, and antioxidants in photodamaged skin. La Jolla, Ca, Mohs Surgery Unit, Division of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgury, Scripps Clinic, 1999.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Peng YM, Peng YS, Lin Y, Moon T, Roe DJ, Ritenbaugh C. Concentrations and plasma-tissue-diet relationships of carotenoids, retinoids, and tocopherols in humans. Nutr Cancer 1995;23(3):233–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Millen AE. Diet and risk of malignant melanoma in a case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2003 2003;12(11 Part 2):1339s.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Taylor EJ, Evans FJ. Anti-psoriatic action of lutein demonstrated by inhibition of rat photodermatitis. J Pharm Pharmacol 1998;50(Supplement):78.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Morganti P, Fabrizi G, Bruno C. Protective effects of oral antioxidants on skin and eye function. Skinmed 2004;3(6):310–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brandon Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Kemin Health, L.C.Des Moines

Personalised recommendations