Submitted to: The World of Food Ingredients: The Journal of the Practicing Food Technologist
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2004
Publication Date: 7/1/2004
Citation: Ribaya-Mercado, J.D., Blumberg, J.B. 2004. The potential health benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin. The World of Food Ingredients: The Journal of the Practicing Food Technologist. July/August:p.44-46.
Technical Abstract: The USDA National Nutrient Database for Carotenoids indicates that vegetables such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, green peas, and summer squash are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, and are present in these foods in higher concentrations than ß-carotene. Egg yolk is a highly bioavailable food source, whereas fruits are not good sources of these xanthophylls. Recent studies suggest important potential roles of lutein and zeaxanthin in human health. Epidemiologic studies suggest these compounds may be protective against cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Some observational studies have also shown these xanthophylls may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer. Emerging studies suggest as well a potential contribution of lutein and zeaxanthin to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. While still not providing definitive evidence, research studies on the potential health benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin are compelling.