Health Hotline Magazine | April 2023

Research indicates that women of childbearing age, breastfeeding women, and children “do not ingest the amount of fruit and vegetable required to ensure an adequate intake of lutein and zeaxanthin.” Supplementation has been shown to e ectively increase lutein levels in both the mother and child, via breastmilk. Lutein remains an important carotenoid for the brain as children continue to grow and develop. Research has shown that children with a denser MPOD— which is also used as a marker for how much lutein is in brain tissue—not only performed better on cognitive tests, but did so with better brain e ciency, that is, their brains didn’t have to work as hard. Research has also found that thicker macular pigment in children is positively related to academic achievement and that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin (10 mg lutein + 2 mg zeaxanthin) improved cognitive function (specifically reasoning, memory, and attention) even in healthy college students “at the peak of their cognitive life.” Researchers have also found a significant correlation between the thickness of the MPOD and maintaining brain function as we age. A study including 4,076 adults aged 50 and older found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were associated with better scores in several measures of cognitive function, including memory, executive function (which includes reasoning and judgment, planning, focus, and regulating emotions), and better processing speed. Furthermore, three additional studies indicated that just 10 mg of lutein intake over 12 months had “a positive impact on healthy older adults’ brain activities during learning, resting-state connectivity, and gray matter volumes.” And four cross-sectional studies found that lutein was positively associated with brain structure and neural e ciency during cognitive tasks. Lutein and zeaxanthin concentrate in the lipid layers of brain cells, where they help stabilize cell membranes and protect important fats, such as DHA, from oxidative damage. In addition to being powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin have anti inflammatory properties, enhance blood flow to the brain, and improve communication between neurons. They have also been found to increase brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), which plays an important role in neuronal growth and also promotes brain It might come as a surprise to learn that you can support healthy skin from within in just three months with lutein! In a 12-week study comparing 10 mg lutein + 0.6 mg zeaxanthin per day to a placebo, it was concluded that the powerful carotenoid combination provided significant improvement in skin hydration (60%), elasticity (20%), and resistance to UV exposure (75%), all of which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The researchers aimed to bolster the antioxidant defense system of the skin as a potentially important strategy for reducing environmentally induced skin damage, concluding “oral administration of lutein may provide better protection than that a orded by topical application of this antioxidant when measured by changes in lipid peroxidation and photoprotective activity in the skin following UV light irradiation.” A separate randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 12-week study examined 50 healthy people ages 18–45 years with mild-to-moderate dry skin who were either given 10mg of lutein + 2 mg of zeaxanthin or a placebo. Results from the study showed that the lutein-zeaxanthin group saw significant improvement in overall skin tone compared to the placebo group. After just three months, lutein really does provide noticeable improvements in skin health from every angle. plasticity, essential for learning and memory. Defeat Skin Aging with Lutein

Stress Less — W I T H — Lutein! A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience found that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin reduced stress, cortisol (the stress hormone), and improved emotional health in a group of young adults. The year-long study included 59 healthy young subjects who were either supplemented with 13 mg lutein, 27 mg lutein, or a placebo daily. Measures of blood cortisol, psychological stress ratings, and mood were taken at the beginning of the study, after six months, and again at 12 months. Supplementation for six months improved stress, cortisol levels, and measures of emotional health. The outcomes were either maintained or improved further at 12 months, with the researchers concluding, “Supplementation with theMCs [macular carotenoids] significantly reduces stress, cortisol, and symptoms of sub-optimal emotional and physical health.”

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