Lutein: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Luteine - Lutein.svg
IUPAC name
Other names Luteine; trans-lutein; 4-​[18-​(4-​Hydroxy-​2,6,6-​trimethyl-​1-​cyclohexenyl)-​3,7,12,16-​tetramethyloctadeca-​1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-​nonaenyl]-​3,5,5-​trimethyl-​cyclohex-​2-​en-​1-​ol
CAS number 127-40-2 Yes check.svgY
PubChem 5368396
Molecular formula C40H56O2
Molar mass 568.87 g mol−1
Appearance Red-orange crystalline solid
Solubility in water Insoluble
Solubility in fats Soluble
 Yes check.svgY (what is this?)  (verify)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Lutein (pronounced /ˈluːtiːən/, /ˈluːtiːn/, /ˈluːtɪɪn/[1]; from Latin luteus meaning "yellow") is one of over 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, lutein is employed by organisms as an antioxidant and for blue light absorption. Lutein is present in the plant as fatty-acid ester, with one or two fatty acids bound to the two hydroxyl-groups. Saponification of lutein esters yields lutein in approximately a 1:2 molar ratio. Lutein is also found in egg yolks, animal fats, and the retina (zeaxanthin predominates at the macula lutea while lutein predominates elsewhere in the retina).[2] Lutein is a lipophilic molecule and is generally insoluble in water. The presence of the long chromophore of conjugated double bonds (polyene chain) provides the distinctive light-absorbing properties. The polyene chain is susceptible to oxidative degradation by light or heat and is chemically unstable in acids.

The principal natural stereoisomer of lutein is (3R,3′R,6′R)-beta,epsilon-carotene-3,3′-diol.


As a pigment

This xanthophyll, like its sister compound zeaxanthin, has primarily been used as a natural colorant due to its orange-red color. Lutein absorbs blue light and therefore appears yellow at low concentrations and orange-red at high concentrations.

Lutein was traditionally used in chicken feed to provide the yellow color of broiler chicken skin. Polled consumers viewed yellow chicken skin more favorably than white chicken skin. Such lutein fortification also results in a darker yellow egg yolk. Today the coloring of the egg yolk has become the primary reason for feed fortification. Lutein is not used as a colorant in other foods due to its limited stability, especially in the presence of other dyes.

Role in human eyes

Lutein was found to be concentrated in the macula, a small area of the retina responsible for central vision. The hypothesis for the natural concentration is that lutein helps protect from oxidative stress and high-energy light. Various research studies have shown that a direct relationship exists between lutein intake and pigmentation in the eye.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Several studies also show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).[10][11][12] The only randomized clinical trial to demonstrate a benefit for lutein in Macular Degeneration was a small study, in which the authors concluded that visual function is improved with lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients and also that more study was needed .[11]

Lutein may also play a role in Haidinger's brush, an entoptic phenomenon that allows humans to detect polarized light.

Lutein is a natural part of human diet when fruits and vegetables are consumed. For individuals lacking sufficient lutein intake, lutein-fortified foods are available, or in the case of elderly people with a poorly absorbing digestive system, a sublingual spray is available. As early as 1996, lutein has been incorporated into dietary supplements. While no recommended daily allowance currently exists for lutein as for other nutrients, positive effects have been seen at dietary intake levels of 6-10 mg/day.[13] The only definitive side effect of excess lutein consumption is bronzing of the skin (carotenodermia).

The functional difference between lutein (free form) and lutein esters is not entirely known. It is suggested that the bioavailability is lower for lutein esters, but much debate continues.

As a food additive, lutein has the E number E161b and is extracted from the petals of marigold (Tagetes erecta).[14]

Several researchers including a group led by John Paul SanGiovanni of the National Eye Institute, Maryland found that high intakes of Lutein and zeaxanthin (nutrients in eggs, spinach and other green vegetables) are associated with a lower risk of blindness (macular degeneration), affecting 1.2 million Americans, mostly after age 65. (journal Archives of Ophthalmology).

Whether this relation is causal and whether lutein and zeaxanthin actually reduce the risk of AMD is being studied.

Some foods are considered good sources of the nutrients:[15][16]

Product Lutein/xeathanin (micrograms per hundred grams)
kale 18200
spinach 12198
garden peas 2593
zucchini 2125
Brussels sprouts 1590
broccoli 1121
Maize/corn 644
kiwifruit 122
turnip greens
romaine lettuce
collard greens

Relationship with diseases of the eye

There is epidemiological evidence of a relationship between low plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin on the one hand, and the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on the other. Some studies support the view that supplemental lutein and/or zeaxanthin help protect against AMD. There is also epidemiological evidence that increasing lutein and zeaxanthin intake lowers the risk of cataract development.[16]

In 2007, in a 6-year study, John Paul SanGiovanni of the National Eye Institute, Maryland found that lutein and zeaxanthin (nutrients in eggs, spinach and other green vegetables) protect against blindness (macular degeneration), affecting 1.2 million Americans, mostly after age 65. Lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of AMD.[16]

Commercial value

The lutein market is segmented into pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food, pet foods, and animal and fish feed. The pharmaceutical market is estimated to be about US $190 million, nutraceutical and Food is estimated to be about US $110 million. Pet foods and other applications are estimated at US $175 million annually. Apart from the customary age related macular degeneration applications, newer applications are emerging in cosmetics, skins and as an antioxidant. It is one of the fastest growing areas of the US $2 billion carotenoid market.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: \ˈlü-tē-ən, ˈlü-ˌtēn\ (IPA equivalents: /ˈluːtiːən/, /ˈluːtiːn/); Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Ed.: /ˈluːtɪɪn/ (with two ɪ's)
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster Online Dictonary
  3. ^ Malinow MR, Feeney-Burns L, Peterson LH, Klein ML, Neuringer M (August 1980). "Diet-related macular anomalies in monkeys". Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 19 (8): 857–63. PMID 7409981.  
  4. ^ Johnson EJ, Hammond BR, Yeum KJ, et al. (June 2000). "Relation among serum and tissue concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin and macular pigment density". Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 71 (6): 1555–62. PMID 10837298.  
  5. ^ Landrum, J., et al. Serum and macular pigment response to 2.4 mg dosage of lutein. in ARVO. 2000.
  6. ^ Berendschot TT, Goldbohm RA, Klöpping WA, van de Kraats J, van Norel J, van Norren D (October 2000). "Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques". Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 41 (11): 3322–6. PMID 11006220.  
  7. ^ Aleman TS, Duncan JL, Bieber ML, et al. (July 2001). "Macular pigment and lutein supplementation in retinitis pigmentosa and Usher syndrome". Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 42 (8): 1873–81. PMID 11431456.  
  8. ^ Duncan JL, Aleman TS, Gardner LM, et al. (March 2002). "Macular pigment and lutein supplementation in choroideremia". Exp. Eye Res. 74 (3): 371–81. doi:10.1006/exer.2001.1126. PMID 12014918.  
  9. ^ Johnson EJ, Neuringer M, Russell RM, Schalch W, Snodderly DM (February 2005). "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. 46 (2): 692–702. doi:10.1167/iovs.02-1192. PMID 15671301.  
  10. ^ Richer S (January 1999). "ARMD—pilot (case series) environmental intervention data". J Am Optom Assoc 70 (1): 24–36. PMID 10457679.  
  11. ^ a b Richer S, Stiles W, Statkute L, et al. (April 2004). "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 75 (4): 216–30. PMID 15117055.  
  12. ^ "A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8". Arch. Ophthalmol. 119 (10): 1417–36. October 2001. PMID 11594942.  
  13. ^ Seddon JM, Ajani UA, Sperduto RD, et al. (November 1994). "Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C, and E, and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group". JAMA 272 (18): 1413–20. PMID 7933422.  
  14. ^ WHO/FAO Codex Alimentarius General Standard for Food Additives
  15. ^, Study finds spinach, eggs ward off cause of blindness
  16. ^ a b c SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY, Clemons TE, et al. (September 2007). "The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and C intake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 22". Arch. Ophthalmol. 125 (9): 1225–32. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.9.1225. PMID 17846363.  
  17. ^ FOD025C The Global Market for Carotenoids, BCC Research

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address