How Lutein can Boost Health for All Ages


Lutein is a naturally occurring carotenoid found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale and is responsible for the yellow-orange colour pigment found in other vegetables such as carrots and pumpkins. Lutein and its structural isomer zeaxanthin is highly concentrated in the macular region of the eyes and helps protect our vision from age-related disorders and improves visual performance and acuity. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant with many studies reporting its health benefits for every stage of our life. While initially believed to only strengthen eye health, studies show that it can also boost brain health.

Lutein for Infants

Lutein plays a major role in early infant development and has been linked to healthy brain formation and DHA protection, an omega-3 fatty acid recognised as the building block of cell membranes. Lutein is the major carotenoid found in the eyes and brains of infants. As lutein is the predominant carotenoid found in infants, almost double that of adults, this suggests that it also plays a role in the central nervous system development. Scientific research has also found that lutein supplementation for newborns increased antioxidant levels and decreased oxidative stress.

Another study found that lutein can influence brain development and may also improve neuroretinal maturation in infants. Pregnant women are advised to increase their lutein intake as the composition of carotenoids in breast milk changes the first month of postpartum; lutein levels remain the same while all other carotenoid levels decrease, proving that lutein is essential for infant development.

Lutein For Young Adults

As research into lutein shows that it positively correlates with an infant's brain, it may also play a major role in the cognitive function of young adults. It is estimated that 95% of the human brain is developed by the age of six and continues to form up to early adulthood. A randomised placebo-controlled study looked into the effects of supplementing lutein and zeaxanthin for improving cognitive function in young healthy males. Results showed that supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin for one year significantly increased macular pigment optical density (MPOD) which resulted in improvements in spatial memory, reasoning ability and complex attention. The researchers concluded that supplementing with the two carotenoids could improve cognitive function in young adults. 

Lutein For Young Adults

People who live to 100 share certain traits such as their positive outlook and healthy lifestyle. At a cellular level, high lutein intake may also be a common trait in centenarians. A study has been conducted on lutein concentrations in the brain tissue of deceased centenarians (98 years old and older). The donated brains were analysed for their carotenoid levels and cognitive scores including retention, IQ and executive function. Researchers established that the lutein content of the centenarians' brains correlated with the cognition test results and also suggested that certain carotenoids may influence cognitive function.

Research suggests that seniors who consume plenty of green leafy vegetables show slower cognitive decline with age compared to those who consume less green vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are a major source of lutein and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E, which help protect the senior brain from decline.

Green leafy vegetables are a source of lutein.

It is recommended to consume plenty of green leafy vegetables to boost lutein and zeaxanthin levels. The antioxidants work cohesively to enhance eye and brain health in the elderly, and the brain development of infants and young adults. Lutein and zeaxanthin supplement is available for those who cannot eat enough food rich in carotenoids.

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Lipa Pharmaceuticals is proud to house an Eye Health Product that uses Lutein. Contact us for more information at info@lipa.com or +61 2 8796 1400.

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