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Early Pediatric Benefit of Lutein for Maturing Eyes and Brain—An Overview

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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University G. d’Annunzio, 65100 Chieti, Italy
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Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Policlinico Casilino, 00169 Rome, Italy
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Pediatric and Neonatology Unit, asl2 Ospedale San Paolo Savona, 17100 Savona, Italy
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Department of Women and Child’s Health, San Bortolo Hospital, 36100 Vicenza, Italy
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S.S.V.D “NIDO E STEN” Ospedali Riuniti Foggia, 71122 Foggia, Italy
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UOC Nido d’Osservazione–San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, 00152 Rome, Italy
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, Ospedale dei Bambini V. Buzzi, ASST-FBF-Sacco, 20154 Milan, Italy
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Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Presidio Ospedaliero “Città di Sesto San Giovanni, Sesto san Giovanni, 20099 Milan, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew J. Sinclair
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093239
Received: 10 August 2021 / Revised: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 2 September 2021 / Published: 17 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Visual Function and Nutrition)
Lutein is a dietary carotenoid preferentially accumulated in the eye and the brain in early life and throughout the life span. Lutein accumulation in areas of high metabolism and oxidative stress such as the eye and the brain suggest a unique role of this ingredient during the development and maturation of these organs of common embryological origin. Lutein is naturally provided to the developing baby via the cord blood, breast milk and then infant diet. The presence of this carotenoid depends on fruit and vegetable intakes and its bioavailability is higher in breastmilk. This paper aims to review the anatomical development of the eye and the brain, explore the presence and selective deposition of lutein in these organs during pregnancy and infancy and, based on its functional characteristics, present the latest available research on the beneficial role of lutein in the pediatric population. The potential effects of lutein in ameliorating conditions associated with increase oxidative stress such as in prematurity will be also addressed. Since consumption of lutein rich foods falls short of government guidelines and in most region of the world infant formulas lack this bioactive, dietary recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women and their child can help to bridge the gap. View Full-Text
Keywords: lutein; zeaxanthin; macular pigment; oxidative stress; blue-light; eye development; brain development; visual function; cognitive function; carotenoids; nutrition lutein; zeaxanthin; macular pigment; oxidative stress; blue-light; eye development; brain development; visual function; cognitive function; carotenoids; nutrition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gazzolo, D.; Picone, S.; Gaiero, A.; Bellettato, M.; Montrone, G.; Riccobene, F.; Lista, G.; Pellegrini, G. Early Pediatric Benefit of Lutein for Maturing Eyes and Brain—An Overview. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093239

AMA Style

Gazzolo D, Picone S, Gaiero A, Bellettato M, Montrone G, Riccobene F, Lista G, Pellegrini G. Early Pediatric Benefit of Lutein for Maturing Eyes and Brain—An Overview. Nutrients. 2021; 13(9):3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093239

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gazzolo, Diego, Simonetta Picone, Alberto Gaiero, Massimo Bellettato, Gerardo Montrone, Francesco Riccobene, Gianluca Lista, and Guido Pellegrini. 2021. "Early Pediatric Benefit of Lutein for Maturing Eyes and Brain—An Overview" Nutrients 13, no. 9: 3239. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093239

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