Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Nutritional and clinical relevance of lutein in human health

  • F. Granado (a1), B. Olmedilla (a1) and I. Blanco (a1)
Abstract

Lutein is one of the most widely found carotenoids distributed in fruits and vegetables frequently consumed. Its presence in human tissues is entirely of dietary origin. Distribution of lutein among tissues is similar to other carotenoids but, along with zeaxanthin, they are found selectively at the centre of the retina, being usually referred to as macular pigments. Lutein has no provitamin A activity in man but it displays biological activities that have attracted great attention in relation to human health. Epidemiological studies have shown inconsistent associations between high intake or serum levels of lutein and lower risk for developing cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer, cataracts and age-related maculopathy. Also, lutein supplementation has provided both null and positive results on different biomarkers of oxidative stress although it is effective in increasing macular pigment concentration and in improving visual function in some, but not all, subjects with different eye pathologies. Overall, data suggest that whereas serum levels of lutein have, at present, no predictive, diagnostic or prognostic value in clinical practice, its determination may be very helpful in assessing compliance and efficacy of intervention as well as potential toxicity. In addition, available evidence suggests that a serum lutein concentration between 0·6 and 1·05 μmol/l seems to be a safe, dietary achievable and desirable target potentially associated with beneficial impact on visual function and, possibly, on the development of other chronic diseases. The use of lutein as a biomarker of exposure in clinical practice may provide some rationale for assessing its relationship with human health as well as its potential use within the context of evidence-based medicine.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Nutritional and clinical relevance of lutein in human health
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Nutritional and clinical relevance of lutein in human health
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Nutritional and clinical relevance of lutein in human health
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr F. Granado, fax +34 91 3737667, email bolmedilla.htph@salud.madrid.org
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A Agudo , P Amiano , A Barcos , (1999) Dietary intake of vegetables and fruits among adults in five regions of Spain. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 174180.

A Ascherio , EB Rimm , M Hernán , (1999) Relation of consumption of vitamin E, vitamin C and carotenoids to risk for stroke among men in the United States. Ann Intern Med 130, 963970.

S Beatty , M Boulton , D Henson , HH Koh & IJ Murray (1999) Macular pigment and age-related macular degeneration. Br J Ophthalmol 83, 867877.

PS Bernstein , F Khachik , LS Carvalho , (2001) Identification and quantitation of carotenoids and their metabolites in the tissues of the human eye. Exp Eye Res 72, 215223.

PS Bernstein , DY Zhao , SW Wintch , IV Ermakov , RW McClane & W Gellermann (2002) Resonance Raman measurement of macular carotenoids in normal subjects and in age-related macular degeneration patients. Ophthalmology 109, 17801787.

JS Bertram (1994) The chemoprevention of cancer by dietary carotenoids: Studies in mouse and human cells. Pure Appl Chem 66, 10251032.

RA Bone , JT Landrum , LM Friedes , (1997) Distribution of lutein and zeaxanthin stereoisomers in the human retina. Exp Eye Res 64, 211218.

RA Bone , JT Landrum & SL Tarsis (1985) Preliminary identification of the human macular pigment. Vision Res 25, 15311535.

AAM Botterweck , PA van den Brandt & RA Goldbohm (2000) Vitamins, carotenoids, dietary fiber, and the risk of gastric carcinoma. Cancer 88, 737748.

D Bruch-Gerharz , W Stahl , CD Gerharz , (2001) Accumulation of the xanthophyll lutein in skin amyloid deposits of systemic amyloidosis (al type). J Invest Dermatol 116, 196197.

JJM Castenmiller & C West (1998) Bioavailability and biocon-version of carotenoids. Annu Rev Nutr 18, 1939.

JK Chug-Ahuja , JM Holden , MR Forman , AR Mangels , GR Beecher & E Lanza (1993) The development and application of a carotenoid database for fruits, vegetables and selected multicomponent foods. J Am Diet Assoc 93, 318323.

AR Collins (2001) Carotenoids and genomic stability. Mutat Res 475, 2128.

G Deharveng , UR Charrondiere , N Slimani , DAT Southgate & E Riboli (1999) Comparison of nutrients in the Food Composition Tables available in the nine European countries participating in the EPIC. Eur J Clin Nutr 53, 6079.

A D'Odorico , D Martines , S Kiechl , (2000) High plasma levels of alpha- and beta-carotene are associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis: Results from the Bruneck Study. Atherosclerosis 153, 231239.

JF Dorgan , A Sowell , CA Swanson , (1998) Relationships of serum carotenoids, retinol, a-tocopherol and selenium with breast cancer risk: Results from a prospective study in Columbia, Missouri (United States). Cancer Causes Control 9, 8997.

JH Dwyer , M Navab , KM Dwyer , (2001) Oxygenated carotenoid lutein and progression of early atherosclerosis. The Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study. Circulation 103, 29222927.

Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group (1993) Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 111, 104109.

JW Jr Erdman , TL Bierer & ET Gugger (1993) Absorption and transport of carotenoids. Ann N Y Acad Sci 691, 7685.

V Flood , W Smith , JJ Wang , F Manzi , K Webb & P Mitchell (2002) Dietary antioxidant intake and incidence of early age-related maculopathy: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 109, 22722278.

CR Gale , NF Hall , DIW Phillips & CN Martyn (2001) Plasma antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids and age-related cataract. Ophthalmology 108, 19921998.

R García , CA González , A Agudo & E Riboli (1999) High intake of specific carotenoids and flavonoids does not reduce the risk of bladder cancer. Nutr Cancer 35, 212214.

E Giovannucci , A Ascherio , EB Rimm , MJ Stampfer , GA Colditz & WC Willett (1995) Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 87, 17671776.

F Granado , B Olmedilla , I Blanco , E Gil-Martínez & E Rojas-Hidalgo (1997) Variability in the intercomparison of food carotenoid content data: A user's point of view. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 37, 621633.

F Granado , B Olmedilla , I Blanco & E Rojas-Hidalgo (1992) Carotenoid composition in raw and cooked Spanish vegetables. J Agric Food Chem 40, 21352140.

DJ Hart & KJ Scott (1995) Development and evaluation of an HPLC method for the analysis of carotenes in vegetables and fruits in the UK. Food Chem 54, 101111.

M Heinonen , V Ollilainen , EK Linkola , PT Varo & PE Koivistoinen (1989) Carotenoids in Finnish foods. Vegetables, fruits and berries. J Agric Food Chem 37, 655659.

I Hininger , A Meyer-Werner , U Moser , (2001) No significant effects of lutein, lycopene or b-carotene supplementation on biological markers of oxidative stress and LDL oxidability in healthy adult subjects. J Am Coll Nutr 20, 232238.

T Hirvonen , J Virtamo , P Khorhonen , D Albanes & P Pietinen (2000) Intake of flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins C and E and risk of stroke in male smokers. Stroke 31, 2301.

JM Holden , AL Eldridge , GR Beecher , (1999) Carotenoid content of U.S. foods: An update of the database. J Food Comp Anal 12, 169196.

C Iribarren , AR Folsom , DR Jr Jacobs , MD Gross , JD Belcher & JH Eckfeldt (1997) Association of serum vitamin levels, LDL susceptibility to oxidation and autoantibodies against MDA-LDL with carotid atherosclerosis. A case-control study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 17, 11711177.

Y Ito , J Ochiai , R Sasaki , S Suzuki , Y Kasuhara & Y Morimitsu (1990) Serum concentrations of carotenoids, retinol and a-tocopherol in healthy persons determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Clin Chim Acta 194, 131144.

L Johnson-Down , H Saundy-Unterberger & K Gray-Donald (2002) Food habits of Canadians: lutein and lycopene intake in the Canadian population. J Am Diet Assoc 102, 988991.

F Khachik , GR Beecher , MB Goli , WR Lusby & JC Jr Smith (1992) Separation and identification of carotenoids and their oxidation products in the extracts of human plasma. Anal Chem 64, 211222.

F Khachik , GR Beecher & WR Lusby (1989) Separation, identification and quantification of the major carotenoids in extracts of apricots, peaches, cantaloupe and pink grapefruit by liquid chromatography. J Agric Food Chem 37, 14651473.

F Khachik , CJ Spangler , JC Smith , LM Canfield , A Steck & H Pfander (1997 b) Identification, quantification and relative concentrations of carotenoids and their metabolites in human milk, and serum. Anal Chem 69, 18731881.

TJ King , F Khachik , H Bortkiewicz , LH Fukushima , S Morioka & JS Bertram (1997) Metabolites of dietary carotenoids as potential cancer preventive agents. Pure Appl Chem 69, 21352140.

L Kohlmeier , JD Kark , E Gómez-Aracena , (1997) Lycopene and myocardial infarction risk in EURAMIC Study. Am J Epidemiol 146, 618626.

JT Landrum , RA Bone , H Joa , MD Kilburn , L Moore & K Sprague (1997) A one year study of the macular pigment: The effect of 140 days of a lutein supplement. Exp Eye Res 65, 5762.

JT Landrum , RA Bone , LL Moore & CM Gomez (1999) Analysis of zeaxanthin distribution within individual human retinas. Meth Enzymol 299, 457467.

AR Mangels , JM Holden , GR Beecher , MR Forman & E Lanza (1993) Carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables: An evaluation of analytical data. J Am Diet Assoc 93, 284296.

JA Mares-Perlman , WE Brady , R Klein , (1995 b) Serum antioxidants and age-related macular degeneration in a population-based case-control study. Arch Ophthalmol 113, 15181523.

M Murkovic , K Gams , S Draxl & W Pfannhauser (2000) Development of an Austrian Carotenoid Database. J Food Comp Anal 13, 435440.

JJ Nussbaum , RC Pruett & FC Delori (1981) Macular yellow pigment. The first 200 years. Retina 1, 296310.

B Olmedilla , F Granado , I Blanco , M Vaquero & C Cagigal (2001 a) Lutein in patients with cataracts and age-related macular degeneration: A long-term supplementation study. J Sci Food Agric 81, 904909.

B Olmedilla , F Granado , I Blanco & M Vaquero (2003) Lutein, but not a-tocopherol, supplementation improves visual function in patients with age-related cataracts: A 2-y double blind, placebo-controlled study. Nutrition 19, 2125.

B Olmedilla , F Granado , E Gil-Martínez & I Blanco (1997 a) Supplementation with lutein (4 months) and a-tocopherol (2 months), in separate or combined oral doses, in control men. Cancer Lett 114, 179181.

B Olmedilla , F Granado , S Southon , (2002) A European multicentre, placebo-controlled supplementation study with a-tocopherol, carotene-rich palm oil, lutein or lycopene: Analysis of serum responses. Clin Sci 102, 447456.

GS Omenn (1998) Chemoprevention of lung cancer: the rise and demise of b-carotene. Ann Rev Public Health 19, 7399.

D Ratnasinghe , MR Forman , JA Tangrea , (2000) Serum carotenoids are associated with increased lung cancer risk among alcohol drinkers, but not among non-drinkers in a cohort of tin miners. Alcohol Alcohol 35, 355360.

JM Seddon , UA Ajani , RD Sperduto , (1994) Dietary carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E and age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease case-control study group. J Am Diet Assoc 272, 14131420.

JM Seddon & CH Hennekens (1994) Vitamins, minerals and macular degeneration. Promising but unproven hypothesis. Arch Ophthalmol 112, 176179.

D Sharpless & DL Duewer (1995) Population distributions and intralaboratory reproducibility for fat-soluble vitamin-related compounds in human serum. Anal Chem 67, 44164422.

H Sies , W Stahl & A Sundquist (1992) Antioxidant functions of vitamins: Vitamins E and C, b-carotene and other carotenoids. Ann N Y Acad Sci 669, 721.

O Sommerburg , JEE Keunen , AC Bird & Kuijk FJGM van (1998) Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes. Br J Ophthalmol 82, 907910.

W Stahl , W Schwarz & A Sundquist (1992) Cis-trans isomers of lycopene and β-carotene in human serum and tissues. Arch Biochem Biophys 294, 173177.

PF Surai , A MacPherson , BK Speake & NHC Sparks (2000) Designer egg evaluation in a controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 54, 298305.

A Taylor & M Hobbs (2001) 2001 Assessment of nutritional influences on risk for cataract. Nutrition 17, 845858.

ES Tee & CL Lim (1991) Carotenoid composition and content of Malaysian vegetables and fruits by AOAC and HPLC methods. Food Chem 41, 309339.

P Toniolo , AL Van Poppel , A Akhmedkhanov , (2001) Serum carotenoids and breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol 153, 11421147.

Berg H Van den , R Faulks , F Granado , (2000) The potential for the improvement of carotenoid levels in foods and the likely systemic effects. J Sci Food Agric 80, 880913.

AY Yemelyanov , NB Katz & PS Bernstein (2001) Ligand-binding characterization of xanthophyll carotenoids to solubilized membrane proteins derived from human retina. Exp Eye Res 72, 381392.

L Zechmeister (1962) Cis-trans Isomeric Carotenoids and Arylpolyenes. New York, NY: Academic Press.

MPA Zeegers , RA Goldbohm & PA van den Brandt (2001) Are retinal, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and carotenoids intake associated with bladder cancer risk? Results from the Netherlands Cohort Study. Br J Cancer 85, 977983.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords: