New research published in The Journal of Nutrition, reinforces the cognitive benefits associated with Lutein. Lutein is a carotenoid, which are a class of phytonutrients found in a wide variety of plants, bacteria and algae and provide important antioxidants functions, and have been linked to improved brain health.
Lutein has also been widely associated as a health nutrient for the eyes. Lutein, in combination with Zeaxanthin is found in high concentrations in the macula. The macula is located on the retina and as we age the levels of the pigments in the macula decrease naturally which increases the risks associated with the development of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Lutein is the source of the pigments on the macula.
Many prior studies now point to the importance of Lutein for brain health, which is not a surprise since there is a connection between the eyes and the brain.
Data from over 1,500 mother-child pairs who participated in a study called Project Viva was analyzed. This data showed that increases in the intake of both Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the mom during pregnancy were associated with improvements in the child’s cognitive measurements taken during mid-childhood.
Another observational study published online at the beginning of this year in Nutritional Neuroscience looked at the impact of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Choline on the cognitive function of middle-aged adults who were overweight or obese. These results showed higher intakes of Choline and Lutein with Zeaxanthin were associated with increases in cognitive flexibility task performance. Individuals who wrestle with obesity and being overweight have a higher risk for suffering from cognitive decline later in life.
In a 2018 study participants with low macular pigment levels who supplemented with Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin for 12 months saw significant improvements in memory when compared to the group supplementing with a placebo.
Researchers believe that given that macular pigment levels correlate with Lutein and Zeaxanthin concentrations in brain tissue and that the concentrations of these carotenoids relate positively to cognitive function, it is possible to hypothesize that Lutein and Zeaxanthin aid in improving the neurocognitive environment.
Further studies are needed.
ASK US. WE KNOW. NOBODY KNOWS NUTRITION LIKE WE DO. NOBODY!