Lutein Complex Supplementation Increases Ocular Blood Flow Biomarkers in Healthy Subjects

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2019 Jul;89(1-2):5-12. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000576. Epub 2019 Apr 1.


Introduction: To investigate the effects of a lutein complex supplementation on ocular blood flow in healthy subjects. Materials and Methods: Sixteen healthy female patients (mean age 36.8 ± 12.1 years) were enrolled in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, two-period crossover study. Subjects received daily an oral dose of the lutein with synergistic phytochemicals complex (lutein (10 mg), ascorbic acid (500 mg), tocopherols (364 mg), carnosic acid (2.5 mg), zeaxanthin (2 mg), copper (2 mg), with synergistic effects in reducing pro-inflammatory mediators and cytokines when administered together in combination) and placebo during administration periods. Measurements were taken before and after three-week supplementation periods, with crossover visits separated by a three-week washout period. Data analysis included blood pressure, heart rate, intraocular pressure, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity detection, ocular perfusion pressure, confocal scanning laser Doppler imaging of retinal capillary blood flow, and Doppler imaging of the retrobulbar blood vessels. Results: Lutein complex supplementation produced a statistically significant increase in mean superior retinal capillary blood flow, measured in arbitrary units (60, p = 0.0466) and a decrease in the percentage of avascular area in the superior (-0.029, p = 0.0491) and inferior (-0.023, p = 0.0477) retina, as well as reduced systolic (-4.06, p = 0.0295) and diastolic (-3.69, p = 0.0441) blood pressure measured in mmHg from baseline. Data comparison between the two supplement groups revealed a significant decrease in systemic diastolic blood pressure (change from pre- to post-treatment with lutein supplement (mean (SE)): -3.69 (1.68); change from pre- to post-treatment with placebo: 0.31 (2.57); p = 0.0357) and a significant increase in the peak systolic velocity (measured in cm/sec) in the central retinal artery (change from pre- to post-treatment with lutein supplement: 0.36 (0.19); change from pre- to post-treatment with placebo: -0.33 (0.21); p = 0.0384) with lutein complex supplement; data analyses from the placebo group were all non-significant. Discussion: In healthy participants, oral administration of a lutein phytochemicals complex for three weeks produced increased ocular blood flow biomarkers within retinal vascular beds and reduced diastolic blood pressure compared to placebo.

Keywords: Ocular blood flow; diet; eye disease; health; nutraceuticals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Ciliary Arteries* / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Lutein* / pharmacology
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Artery


  • Biomarkers
  • Lutein