Lutein across the Lifespan: From Childhood Cognitive Performance to the Aging Eye and Brain

Curr Dev Nutr. 2019 Jun 4;3(7):nzz066. doi: 10.1093/cdn/nzz066. eCollection 2019 Jul.


Lutein is a non-provitamin A dietary carotenoid found in dark green leafy vegetables, corn, eggs, and avocados. Among the carotenoids, lutein and its isomer, zeaxanthin, are the only 2 that cross the blood-retina barrier to form macular pigment in the retina. Lutein also preferentially accumulates in the human brain across multiple life stages. A variety of scientific evidence supports a role for lutein in visual as well as cognitive function across the lifespan. The purpose of this review is to summarize the latest science on lutein's role in the eye and the brain across different ages.

Keywords: brain; carotenoids; cognition; eye; lifespan; lutein; nutrition; vision; zeaxanthin.