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Foods 2015, 4(4), 547-564; doi:10.3390/foods4040547

Lutein and Brain Function

1
Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
2
Abbott Nutrition, Discovery Research, Columbus, OH 43219, USA
3
Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA
4
Departments of Chemistry and the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
5
Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Billy R. Hammond
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 23 September 2015 / Accepted: 25 September 2015 / Published: 9 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Carotenoids and The Nervous System)
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Abstract

Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as macular pigment in the foveal retina of primates, attenuating blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. Recently, interest in lutein has expanded beyond the retina to its possible contributions to brain development and function. Only primates accumulate lutein within the brain, but little is known about its distribution or physiological role. Our team has begun to utilize the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model to study the uptake and bio-localization of lutein in the brain. Our overall goal has been to assess the association of lutein localization with brain function. In this review, we will first cover the evolution of the non-human primate model for lutein and brain studies, discuss prior association studies of lutein with retina and brain function, and review approaches that can be used to localize brain lutein. We also describe our approach to the biosynthesis of 13C-lutein, which will allow investigation of lutein flux, localization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Lastly, we describe potential future research opportunities. View Full-Text
Keywords: lutein; brain function; monkeys; animal models; carotenoids lutein; brain function; monkeys; animal models; carotenoids
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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

Erdman, J.W., Jr.; Smith, J.W.; Kuchan, M.J.; Mohn, E.S.; Johnson, E.J.; Rubakhin, S.S.; Wang, L.; Sweedler, J.V.; Neuringer, M. Lutein and Brain Function. Foods 2015, 4, 547-564.

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