This study was published in the Journal of Nutrition 2004 Sep;134(9):2387-94
Study title and authors:
Correlates of serum lutein + zeaxanthin: findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Gruber M, Chappell R, Millen A, LaRowe T, Moeller SM, Iannaccone A, Kritchevsky SB, Mares J.
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
This study can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15333733
Lutein and zeaxanthin, are two carotenoids that are concentrated in tissues of the eye and studies have suggested that people with higher levels of these carotenoids are at lower risk for common eye diseases associated with aging (age-related maculopathy and cataracts). Other studies have also shown that lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly those of the breast and lung. Emerging studies suggest as well a potential contribution of lutein and zeaxanthin to the prevention of heart disease and stroke see here.
The aim of this study was to investigate health and lifestyle factors that influence levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. The study included 7,059 participants aged 40 years or older.
The study found:
(a) Those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin had 77% higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin compared to those who consumed the least.
(b) Those with the highest lutein and zeaxanthin levels had 17% higher cholesterol levels compared to those with the lowest lutein and zeaxanthin levels.
The data from the study shows that high consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin and higher cholesterol levels are associated with higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin which may lower the risk of common eye diseases associated with aging and also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.