Green leafy vegetable and lutein intake and multiple health outcomes

Food Chem. 2021 Oct 30:360:130145. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.130145. Epub 2021 May 18.


Green leafy vegetables (GLVs) are a key element of healthy eating patterns and are an important source of lutein. To clarify the evidence for associations between GLVs and lutein intake and multiple health outcomes, we performed a review. A total of 24 meta-analyses with 29 health outcomes were identified by eligibility criteria. Dose-response analyses revealed that, per 100 g/d GLV intake was associated with a decreased risk (ca. 25%) of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease and stroke. Beneficial effects of GLV intake were found for cardiovascular disease and bladder and oral cancer. Dietary lutein intake was inversely associated with age-related macular degeneration, age-related cataracts, coronary heart disease, stroke, oesophageal cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, metabolic syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Caution was warranted for contamination with potentially pathogenic organisms, specifically Escherichia coli. GLV consumption and lutein intake therein are generally safe and beneficial for multiple health outcomes in humans.

Keywords: Green leafy vegetables; Health; Lutein; Meta-analysis; Umbrella review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / pathology
  • Diet*
  • Humans
  • Lutein / chemistry
  • Lutein / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Stroke / mortality
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Vegetables / chemistry
  • Vegetables / metabolism*


  • Lutein