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Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health
Guelph Food Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, ON N1G 5C9, Canada
Consultant, Toronto, ON M3M 2E9, Canada
Department of Food Science and Technology, ICCBS, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
English Biscuit Manufacturers Pvt. Ltd., Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi 74900, Pakistan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2013; in revised form: 21 March 2013 / Accepted: 26 March 2013 / Published: 9 April 2013
Abstract: The eye is a major sensory organ that requires special care for a healthy and productive lifestyle. Numerous studies have identified lutein and zeaxanthin to be essential components for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments that impart yellow or orange color to various common foods such as cantaloupe, pasta, corn, carrots, orange/yellow peppers, fish, salmon and eggs. Their role in human health, in particular the health of the eye, is well established from epidemiological, clinical and interventional studies. They constitute the main pigments found in the yellow spot of the human retina which protect the macula from damage by blue light, improve visual acuity and scavenge harmful reactive oxygen species. They have also been linked with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Research over the past decade has focused on the development of carotenoid-rich foods to boost their intake especially in the elderly population. The aim of this article is to review recent scientific evidences supporting the benefits of lutein and zexanthin in preventing the onset of two major age-related eye diseases with diets rich in these carotenoids. The review also lists major dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin and refers to newly developed foods, daily intake, bioavailability and physiological effects in relation to eye health. Examples of the newly developed high-lutein functional foods are also underlined.
Keywords: lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids; dietary sources; eye health; high-lutein foods; bioavailability
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Abdel-Aal, E.-S.M.; Akhtar, H.; Zaheer, K.; Ali, R. Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health. Nutrients 2013, 5, 1169-1185.
Abdel-Aal E-SM, Akhtar H, Zaheer K, Ali R. Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health. Nutrients. 2013; 5(4):1169-1185.
Abdel-Aal, El-Sayed M.; Akhtar, Humayoun; Zaheer, Khalid; Ali, Rashida. 2013. "Dietary Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin Carotenoids and Their Role in Eye Health." Nutrients 5, no. 4: 1169-1185.