The Health Benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin and side effects

The Health Benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin and side effects

Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that helps to protect the eyes from oxidative and light-induced damage. The yellow pigment zeaxanthin may be detected in the macula’s center. It may be found in large quantities in dark green vegetables, orange and yellow fruits, and egg yolks. 

In reality, zeaxanthin is the pigment responsible for the hues of paprika, saffron, and maize. It’s often confused with lutein, a related vitamin. Both supplements contain carotenoids, which are present in significant amounts in many plants and fruits and are linked to eye health.

Health Advantages

what are the health benefits of zeaxanthin ?
Zeaxanthin is an eye vitamin that is attracted to the eyes once inside the body. It penetrates the lens, macula, and fovea (the center spot of the retina). Zeaxanthin aids in the formation of a yellow pigment barrier that protects the eye cells from the damaging effects of certain light sources, such as the sun. It also protects the eyes from the harmful free radicals that arise as a result of oxidation over time.

Some dietary sources of zeaxanthin have been investigated as potential anti-ageing agents in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In the United States, AMD is the main cause of blindness. 1 The illness mostly affects adults over the age of 65. Macular degeneration is a term used to describe several macular issues that affect young people. but the term generally refers to age-related macular degeneration.

The only dietary carotenoid that accumulates in the retina, particularly the macular area, is zeaxanthin, together with lutein. (Meso-zeaxanthin is the third most abundant carotenoid in the macula, with zeaxanthin being the most abundant just off-center.) Both compounds are known as macular pigments because they are present in considerable levels in the macula. Zeaxanthin and lutein may help with the following conditions:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Supplementing with zeaxanthin and lutein may protect the eyes from the progression of AMD, which can lead to blindness.
  • A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Consumption of zeaxanthin and lutein may help to prevent cataract development. 
  • Uveitis is an inflammation or swelling of the uvea in the eye. The uvea is responsible for giving blood to the retina and is positioned in the middle of the eye, between the sclera and the retina. The antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein may help to reduce inflammation.
  • Diabetic retinopathy is a consequence of diabetes that occurs when blood vessels in the retina get damaged. Supplementing with zeaxanthin and lutein may help to prevent eye damage caused by oxidation processes.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals, which are unstable chemicals.

Free radicals, in excess, can harm your cells, speed up the ageing process, and accelerate the spread of illnesses including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s (

Lutein and zeaxanthin protect your body’s proteins, lipids, and DNA against stresses, and can even assist in the recycling of glutathione, another important antioxidant.

Furthermore, their antioxidant capabilities may lessen the effects of “bad” LDL cholesterol, resulting in less plaque build-up in your arteries and a lower risk of heart diseaseLutein and zeaxanthin also help to prevent free radical damage to your eyes.

Both oxygen and light are absorbed by your eyes, promoting the creation of damaging oxygen free radicals. These free radicals are no longer able to harm your eye cells because lutein and zeaxanthin balance them out 

Even at the same concentration, these carotenoids appear to act better together and can attack free radicals more efficiently when combined 

Possible Negative Consequences

what are the side effects of too much lutein ?
There are currently no documented side effects or Not suitable interactions of zeaxanthin with other medications.

After reaching the maximum daily recommended amount for adults, a person with fair complexion may acquire a yellowish tint of the skin, which is safe (10 milligrams).

Supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin tend to have relatively minimal negative effects.

Over the course of five years, a large-scale ocular research identified no negative effects from lutein and zeaxanthin pills. The only Not suitable side effect was minor skin yellowing, which was not considered dangerous.

However, an elderly lady who supplemented with 20 mg of lutein per day and ate a high-lutein diet for eight years developed crystals in her eyes, according to one case study.

The crystals in one eye vanished after she stopped using the supplement, but persisted in the other.

The safety profile of lutein and zeaxanthin is excellent.

According to studies, daily doses of 0.45 mg per pound (1 mg per kg) of lutein and 0.34 mg per pound (0.75 mg per kg) of zeaxanthin are safe. This translates to 70 mg of lutein and 53 mg of zeaxanthin for a 154-pound (70-kg) individual.

A rat research reported no negative effects from daily dosages of lutein or zeaxanthin up to 1,814 mg per pound (4,000 mg/kg) of body weight, which was the maximum amount studied.

Although there have been few reports of lutein and zeaxanthin supplement side effects, additional study is needed to assess the potential adverse effects of extremely high doses.

Preparation and Dosage

There is currently no dietary consumption recommendation for zeaxanthin. The amount of zeaxanthin your body requires may be determined by the level of stress you are experiencing in your daily life. A smoker, for example, may require more zeaxanthin since smokers have lower amounts of carotenoids than non-smokers. A mixture containing 10 milligrams (mg) of lutein and 2 milligrams (mg) of zeaxanthin was employed in a recent investigation. 

The average person consumes roughly 1 to 3 mg of zeaxanthin per day from their food. However, if you want to lower your risk of eye problems, you may need more than this. Fats aid in zeaxanthin absorption, therefore incorporating them in your diet is advantageous. Toss a green salad with a drizzle of olive oil or butter sautéed green veggies.

There is presently no dietary consumption recommendation for lutein and zeaxanthin.

Furthermore, the quantity of lutein and zeaxanthin your body requires may be influenced by the level of stress it is exposed to. Smokers, for example, may require more lutein and zeaxanthin since they have lower quantities of carotenoids than non-smokers .

The typical daily intake of lutein and zeaxanthin in the United States is believed to be 1–3 mg. However, if you want to lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you may need a lot more.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) discovered that taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin slowed the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration (31Trusted Source).

Supplementing with 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin can also help to enhance overall skin tone.

What to Watch Out For

Most green plants have the largest concentration of zeaxanthin in their leaves. It regulates light energy throughout the plant and maintains proper chlorophyll levels during photosynthesis. The vivid hues of many fruits and vegetables are due to zeaxanthin and lutein, although they are found in higher concentrations in green leafy vegetables. Dark green veggies’ chlorophyll actually covers the lutein and zeaxanthin pigments, giving them their distinctive green hue.

Kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, romaine lettuce, watercress, Swiss chard, and mustard greens are some of the dark green leafy foods high in zeaxanthin.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to get enough zeaxanthin from your food alone, you can take a vitamin supplement. It is advised that you take up to 10 mg of both lutein and zeaxanthin daily as a dietary supplement.

Be aware that dietary supplements are not regulated to the same level as medicines by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), save for the prohibition of unproven health claims. The FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have not authorized any health claims for zeaxanthin supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does zeaxanthin have any other health benefits?
Zeaxanthin has been proven to have beneficial benefits on the skin in recent years. Consumption of zeaxanthin on a daily basis may prevent skin cells from premature ageing and UVB-induced cancers. A recent study found that taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin can help with skin tone.

When it comes to zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin, what’s the difference?
At the macula’s immediate center, meso-zeaxanthin predominates. Macular pigment, a natural blue light filter and anti-oxidant present in the retina, is made up of zeaxanthin, lutein, and meso-zeaxanthin. In persons who eat a typical diet, macular pigment is often diminished. As a result, taking an eye supplement that includes all three macular pigment carotenoids is a smart option.

Why Are Lutein and Zeaxanthin Beneficial to Your Vision?

can lutein improve vision ?
These powerful antioxidants may be found not just in numerous vegetables, but also in your eyes, particularly in the lens, retina, and macula. That’s why physicians feel they’re important for good vision.

Lutein and zeaxanthin consumption may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). blindness progression

Cataracts are hazy areas that appear at the front of your eye. Eating meals high in lutein and zeaxanthin may help to inhibit the development of these pigments.

Supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin has been proven to lower oxidative stress indicators that harm the eyes in animal diabetic investigations.

Eye detachment: Lutein infusions reduced cell death by 54 percent in rats with eye detachments compared to corn oil injections.

Uveitis is a disorder in which the central layer of the eye becomes inflamed. Lutein and zeaxanthin may aid in the reduction of the inflammatory process.

Although research on lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health is encouraging, not all studies suggest that they are beneficial. Some studies, for example, revealed no relationship between lutein and zeaxanthin consumption and the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration at an early age.

Having adequate lutein and zeaxanthin is still important for your general eye health, despite the fact that there are numerous factors at play.

How Do They Assist?

Lutein and zeaxanthin can help protect your eyes from high-energy light waves such as UV radiation in the sun. According to studies, having a high level of both in eye tissue is connected to better vision, particularly in dim light or when glare is an issue.

Diets high in these two nutrients may help protect against age-related vision problems. People who ate vegetables high in zeaxanthin, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, were found to be half as likely to develop cataracts, according to one research. Another study found that taking lutein and zeaxanthin supplements can help delay the progression of macular degeneration, which causes damage to the center of your retina and can result in the loss of central vision.

It’s worth noting that many research mix these two nutrients with others like vitamins C and E. It’s possible that the combination of nutrients benefits your eyes more than any one one of them.
There is no recommended daily allowance for each nutrient.

For eye health, 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin per day is recommended.

Researchers haven’t established a safe upper limit for either.

They have the potential to color your complexion somewhat yellow if consumed in excess. Up to 20 mg of lutein per day appears to be safe, according to research.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin-Rich Foods

  • 23.8 mg kale (1 cup)
  • 20.4 mg of spinach (1 cup)
  • 1 cup collard greens 14.6 mg
  • Turnip greens (1 cup) 12.2 mg
  • Corn (1 cup) 2.2 mg
  • Broccoli (1 cup) 1.6 mg

Despite the fact that lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the vibrant hues of numerous fruits and vegetables, they’re present in higher concentrations in leafy green veggies.
Chlorophyll in dark-green vegetables obscures lutein and zeaxanthin pigments, giving the veggies a green appearance.

Kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, and peas are all good sources of carotenoids. With 48–115 mcg per gram of kale, it is one of the richest sources of lutein. A carrot, on the other hand, may only have 2.5–5.1 mcg of lutein per gram.

Lutein and zeaxanthin may also be found in orange juice, honeydew melon, kiwis, red peppers, squash, and grapes, and lutein and zeaxanthin can also be found in durum wheat and corn,

Furthermore, egg yolks may be an essential source of lutein and zeaxanthin, as the yolk’s high fat content may aid in their absorption.

Fats aid in the absorption of lutein and zeaxanthin, so include them in your diet, such as in a green salad or with cooked greens in butter or coconut oil, is a smart option.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplements

Lutein and zeaxanthin are popular dietary supplements for preventing vision loss and eye disorders.

They’re commonly created from marigold flowers and waxes, although they can also be manufactured synthetically.

These supplements are particularly popular among seniors who are concerned about their eyesight deteriorating.

Low lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the eyes have been connected to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, whereas greater blood levels of these carotenoids have been linked to a 57 percent lower risk of AMD.

Others may benefit from lutein and zeaxanthin supplements, as carotenoids are commonly deficient in the diet .
Supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can also boost your total antioxidant status, which could help you fight stress.

May Help to Keep Your Skin Healthy

The skin-beneficial properties of lutein and zeaxanthin have just recently been recognized.
Their antioxidant properties save your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
In a two-week animal research, rats fed a 0.4 percent lutein- and zeaxanthin-rich diet exhibited less UVB-induced skin inflammation than rats fed only 0.04 percent of these carotenoids.
Another research of 46 adults with mild-to-moderate dry skin revealed that those who took 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin had considerably better skin tone than those who took a placebo.
Furthermore, lutein and zeaxanthin may protect your skin cells against UVB-induced cancers and premature ageing.

Verywell’s Message

While there are numerous elements at play, lutein and zeaxanthin are both good for your eyes. There are however some additional things you can do to maintain your eyes as healthy as possible. Aim for at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day, with vividly colored fruits and vegetables such as spinach, curly kale, peppers, sweetcorn, red grapes, and oranges topping the list. Zeaxanthin is also found in abundance in egg yolks.

If you smoke, make every effort to stop. Smoking is a significant risk factor for AMD. When you’re in strong light, remember to put on your protective sunglasses or lenses (either sunlight or artificial light, including blue light sources such as smartphones and computers). Maintain a healthy body weight, as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

AMD is a hereditary condition that affects the eyes. Siblings or offspring of persons with AMD may be at a higher risk of acquiring AMD and should take preventative steps like zeaxanthin and lutein supplements to reduce their risk.

Final Thoughts

Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidant carotenoids that may be found in abundance in dark-green vegetables and are also accessible as supplements.

Daily dosages of lutein and zeaxanthin of 10 mg and 2 mg may help to enhance skin tone, protect skin from sun damage, and slow the advancement of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Dietary intakes of these carotenoids are low in the usual diet, which may be even another incentive to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Tags: body care, diet, skin care, vitamins

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