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Nutrients. 2013 May 22;5(5):1823-39. doi: 10.3390/nu5051823.

The role of lutein in eye-related disease.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida, 580 West 8th Street, Tower II, 3rd Fl., Jacksonville, FL 32209, USA. Keyvan.Koushan@jax.ufl.edu

Abstract

The lens and retina of the human eye are exposed constantly to light and oxygen. In situ phototransduction and oxidative phosphorylation within photoreceptors produces a high level of phototoxic and oxidative related stress. Within the eye, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in contrast to other human tissues. We discuss the role of lutein and zeaxanthin in ameliorating light and oxygen damage, and preventing age-related cellular and tissue deterioration in the eye. Epidemiologic research shows an inverse association between levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye tissues and age related degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. We examine the role of these carotenoids as blockers of blue-light damage and quenchers of oxygen free radicals. This article provides a review of possible mechanisms of lutein action at a cellular and molecular level. Our review offers insight into current clinical trials and experimental animal studies involving lutein, and possible role of nutritional intervention in common ocular diseases that cause blindness.

PMID:
23698168
PMCID:
PMC3708350
DOI:
10.3390/nu5051823
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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