Lutein

Lutein is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family (a group of naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments found in plants). Lutein is the primary carotenoid present in the central area of the retina called the macula.

Lutein is an antioxidant found in many plants. It is from the carotenoid family, which consists of naturally occurring fat-soluble pigments in plants. It is the main carotenoid found in the retina. Some of the most valuable antioxidant protection against macular degeneration is supplied by carotenoids which help neutralize the free radicals that can damage the retina. Two carotenoids in particular, lutein and zeaxanthin, play an important role in macular function by blocking the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Both lutein and zeaxanthin effectively absorb the blue region of the visible spectrum-the most damaging wavelengths of light to which the retina is routinely exposed.

Lutein (also known as xanthophyll) is one of a large group of over 600 compounds known as the carotenoid pigments.. These pigments give yellow, green or orange colouration to vegetables and fruits and they are precursors for Vitamin A. Lutein is naturally found in several plants including some flowers (eg marigolds), red peppers, kale, mustard and spinach. It is also found in egg yolk. Lutein is a carotenoid pigment found in spinach, kale, amaranth, red paprika, collard and mustard greens and certain flowers. Lutein in nutritional supplements is usually derived from marigold flower petals. Lutein is part of the zanthophyll family of pigments, which also includes astaxanthin and canthaxanthin. Because they do not have the pro-vitamin A activity of beta carotene, these "other" carotenoids have been over-looked until recently.

Lutein may act as a filter to protect the macula from potentially damaging forms of light. Lutein works extremely well in protecting the retina against sunlight damage. Supplementation with 6 mg of lutein daily may decrease the occurrence of macular degeneration by more than 50%. Consequently, lutein appears to be associated with protection from age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in older adults). In the eye lutein is found in the macula which lies in front of the cones in the retina, where it is believed to act as a yellow filter. Dietary lutein is thought to be an essential micronutrient for normal vision, and being fat-soluble deficiency may occur if fat digestion and absorption is impaired. Lutein supplementation may be beneficial in the management of macular degeneration which leads to a loss of central vision and colour vision.

CAS Number: 989-61-6
Molecular Formula: C40H52O2
Molecular Weight: 568.88
Appearance: light yellow Powder
Purity by HPLC: Minimum 90%