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J Ophthalmol. 2015;2015:687173. doi: 10.1155/2015/687173. Epub 2015 Dec 20.

The Photobiology of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Eye.

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1
Department of Natural Sciences, Fordham University, New York City, NY 10023, USA.

Abstract

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants found in the human retina and macula. Recent clinical trials have determined that age- and diet-related loss of lutein and zeaxanthin enhances phototoxic damage to the human eye and that supplementation of these carotenoids has a protective effect against photoinduced damage to the lens and the retina. Two of the major mechanisms of protection offered by lutein and zeaxanthin against age-related blue light damage are the quenching of singlet oxygen and other reactive oxygen species and the absorption of blue light. Determining the specific reactive intermediate(s) produced by a particular phototoxic ocular chromophore not only defines the mechanism of toxicity but can also later be used as a tool to prevent damage.

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