Extensive research suggests that dietary lutein may be of benefi t in maintaining ocular and cognitive health.
Among the carotenoids, lutein and its isomer, zeaxanthin, are the only two that cross the blood-retina barrier to form macular pigment in the eye. In infants, lutein may also play a role in the maturation of cells in the developing macula. In adults, lutein status is related to a decreased risk of age-related eye diseases. The sum of the scientifi c evidence also suggests that lutein may be uniquely important for cognitive health at all stages of life. Although lutein is not an essential nutrient, efforts may be warranted to establish recommended intakes for this dietary component.
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