Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Carotenoid lutein

The carotenoid groups of pigments are ubiquitous in nature and more than 600 different carotenoids have been identified and characterized. They are responsible for pigmentation in animals, plants, and microorganisms, but crucially also serve important, often critical, roles in biological systems.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are xanthophyll carotenoids found particularly in dark-green leafy vegetables and in egg yolks. Lutein is a member of Xanthophyll family which mostly found in green leafy vegetables like pea, broccoli, corn, spinach, carrot, egg yolk etc. and flowers like marigold.

Lutein is the active carotenoid and is potent, natural source antioxidant. It is one of the most widely distributed carotenoids in fruits and vegetables frequently consumed in daily diet by different populations. Lutein (3,3'-dihydroxy-β,ε-carotene) is a carotenoid. Of the many carotenoids circulating in the human serum, only lutein and zeaxanthin accumulated in the macular region of the retina, where they act as antioxidants.

Lutein possesses pronounced free radical scavenging ability due to its polarity and number of conjugated double bonds. Lutein absorbs blue light and therefore appears yellow at low concentrations and orange-red at high concentrations. On an average it accounts for approximately 48% of the total xanthophylls in green leafy vegetables.

Lutein and also zeaxanthin may be protective in eye disease because they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye. Lutein is also known to act as an important dietary nutrient for prevention against eye diseases like cataract and age-related macular degeneration.

Lutein is also known to have positive health effects for people suffering from cardio vascular diseases. Carotenoid mixture including synergistic effects of lutein with lycopene is found to have preventive effects against oxidative damage. Carotenoid lutein may reduce the oxidative damage or minimize the damage due to oxidative stress, by limiting the degree to which oxygen penetrates membranes.

In adults, higher lutein status is related to better cognitive performance, and lutein supplementation improves cognition.
Carotenoid lutein

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