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Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 120; doi:10.3390/nu9020120

Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age‐Related Macular Degeneration Protection

1
Food and Nutrition Australia, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
2
Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, Westmead Millennium Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2145, Australia
3
Faculty of Health Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2141, Australia
4
Westmead Hospital, Western Sydney Local Health District, Westmead, Sydney NSW 2145, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 4 February 2017 / Published: 9 February 2017
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Abstract

Lutein and zeaxanthin (L/Z) are the predominant carotenoids which accumulate in the retina of the eye. The impact of L/Z intake on the risk and progression of age‐related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the developed world, has been investigated in cohort studies and clinical trials. The aims of this review were to critically examine the literature and evaluate the current evidence relating to L/Z intake and AMD, and describe important food sources and factors that increase the bioavailability of L/Z, to inform dietary models. Cohort studies generally assessed L/Z from dietary sources, while clinical trials focused on providing L/Z as a supplement. Important considerations to take into account in relation to dietary L/Z include: nutrient‐rich sources of L/Z, cooking methods, diet variety and the use of healthy fats. Dietary models include examples of how suggested effective levels of L/Z can be achieved through diet alone, with values of 5 mg and 10 mg per day described. These diet models depict a variety of food sources, not only from dark green leafy vegetables, but also include pistachio nuts and other highly bioavailable sources of L/Z such as eggs. This review and the diet models outlined provide information about the importance of diet variety among people at high risk of AMD or with early signs and symptoms of AMD. View Full-Text
Keywords: lutein;  zeaxanthin;  xanthophylls;  carotenoids;  age‐related  macular  degeneration;  bioavailability lutein;  zeaxanthin;  xanthophylls;  carotenoids;  age‐related  macular  degeneration;  bioavailability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Eisenhauer, B.; Natoli, S.; Liew, G.; Flood, V.M. Lutein and Zeaxanthin—Food Sources, Bioavailability and Dietary Variety in Age‐Related Macular Degeneration Protection. Nutrients 2017, 9, 120.

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