Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

• Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidant carotenoids found in spinach, corn, egg yolk, squash and greens.

• Lutein and zeaxanthin are essential for the development of macular pigment, which protects photoreceptor cells in the retina from free radical damage.

• Epidemiological studies have generally found an inverse relationship between lutein and zeaxanthin intake and macular degeneration; however, conclusive evidence as to whether increased intakes will reduce the incidence of ARMD is still unavailable.

• One controlled study has found that long-term use of lutein supplements may increase visual performance in people with pre-existing cataracts.

• High dietary intake of lutein has been associated with reduced risk of some cancers, most notably endometrial and ovarian cancer, but not all cancers, according to epidemiological evidence.

• Supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin should be taken with food as dietary fat improves their absorption.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this supplement do for me?

Lutein and zeaxathin is important for eye health and may also reduce the risk of developing endometrial and ovarian cancer over time.

When will it start to work?

Increased intake of lutein can improve macular health within 4 weeks; however, clinical effects develop slowly and may not be detected for 6 months. In regard to improving visual performance in people with pre-existing cataracts, effects take even longer ( ~2 years).

Are there any safety issues?

Lutein and zeaxanthin are generally considered safe.