Vision Vitality - Research Health of Retina

LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN (trans and meso zeaxanthin)

  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Both are carotenoids, unique in their ability to  accumulate in the retina of the eye. Lutein and zeazanthin exert powerful antioxidant protection. Furthermore, there is high correlation between density of these pigmenst in the macula compnent of the retina, and aging of the retina. The blue light spectrum is especially detrimental to the retina, and high levels of luetin and zeaxanthin filter the blue light reducing toxic free radicals. The macula contains 1000xs more concentration of these carotenoids than in the blood.(1) This reflects the important role played for maintaining health of the retina.
  • Macular Optical Pigments. Lutein Zeaxanthn and Meso Zeaxanthin are the optical pigments which protect the retina and retinal pigent epithelium from light induced damage, (1).  Light induced damage accumulates with age, and is the main  factor in developing AMD (Age Related Macular Degeneration).
  • Meso Zeaxanthin signifcantly increases pigment density. Meso zeaxanthin, when included with lutein and zeaxanthin supllementation, increased optical pigment density more than lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Retinal Abnormalities - associated with low levels of macular pigment density in the retina.
  • High Levels of Macular Pigments - offers Protection Against AMD.
  • Early Stage AMD Reversal. Increasing macular pigment in AMD patients may also be able to reverse early stage AMD pathologies.(1)
  • AMD common cause of blindness - AMD is responsible for most blindness in people over 60 years old.(2)
  • Preservation of Photoreceptors. Health of the photoreceptors, an integral part of the retina, are dependent on oxidative and endoplasmic recticulum stress. Degeneration of the photoreceptors Lutein and zeaxanthin reduces such stresses, which helps preserve functioning of photoreceptors and consequential blindness.(3)
  • Memory Improvement. Studies involving human participants showed significantly increases in memory, in people with low macular pigment levels. Lutein, zeaxanthin and meso zeaxanthin affects the brain by virtue of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties .(4)


  • Retinal Degeneration. Carnosic acid activates the endogenous antioxidant system and reduces oxidative stress. Clinical implications may include benefit for age-related macular degeneration (AMD),  a progressive disease which  is based on oxidative stress.(5) Light induced oxidative stress is a major contributor of retinal degenerations and may be ameliorated by carnosic acid. 



(1) Ma L, et al. Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-zeaxanthin Supplementation Associated with Macular Pigment Optical Density. Nutrients. 2016 Jul 

(2) ArunkamarR, et al. What do we know about the macular pigment in AMD: the past, the present, and the future. Eye (Lond). 2018 May

(3) Yu M, et al. Lutein and Zeaxanthin Isomers Protect against Light-Induced Retinopathy via Decreasing Oxidative and Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in BALB/cJ Mice. Nutrients. 2018.

(4) Power R, et al. Supplemental Retinal Carotenoids Enhance Memory in Healthy Individuals with Low Levels of Macular Pigment in A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.  J Alzheimers Dis. 2018

(5) Rezaie T, et al. Protective effect of carnosic acid, a pro-electrophilic compound, in models of oxidative stress and light-induced retinal degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2012 Nov