Skin Care and Treatments of Melbourne Dermatology - Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Improving Skin's Antioxidant Defenses and Acting Against Sun Damage

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Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Improving Skin's Antioxidant Defenses and Acting Against Sun Damage

Lutein and Zeaxanthin — Improving Skin's Antioxidant Defenses and Acting Against Sun Damage

Lutein is a deep yellow pigment of the xanthophyll class, found in the leaves of green leafy plants such as spinach, in egg yolk, and in the corpus luteum, and has a long history of use in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (ADM). The centre of the retina (the macula) contains lutein as the primary carotenoid.

Similar to our eyes, carotenoids such as lutein are deposited in the skin in line with the foods we consume.

Professor Pierfrancesco Morganti, professor of applied cosmetic dermatology at the University of Naples, recently presented a paper outlining a trial in which Italian female subjects were administered 10mg or oral lutein and/or 50ppm of topical lutein over a 3 month period.

Oral lutein was seen to increase skin hydration by 38%, elasticity by 8% and the level of superficial lipids (responsible for barrier function) by 33%.

Where oral and topical lutein was administered, these figures grew to an impressive 60, 20 and 50% respectively.

The skin is the body's largest organ, fulfilling a number of important functions (cosmetic, thermoregulation, barrier protection, immunological response).

Similar to the eyes, the facial skin is constantly exposed to the full impact of the environment. It suffers particularly from free radical damage instigated by the penetration of UVA rays to the dermis.

Lutein has been shown to prevent photosensitization, prevent oxidization of the skin's protective oils and decrease UV-induced immunosuppression. Lutein also appears to inhibit skin cancer in mice.

An up to date list of skin care products/treatments containing active carotenoids and primary antioxidants is available.

The average daily consumption of lutein is only 1-2 mg per day, however between 4-8 milligrams is the recommended daily allowance. [See the list of raw foods rich in lutein.]

Other physiologic and plant antioxidants of core importance in preventing skin cancer and photoaging are ferulic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc, silymarin, soy isoflavones, and tea polyphenols such as those found in green tea.

Findings on zeaxanthin have not yet been publically released however this nutrient is commonly formulated alongside lutein.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Skin Care and Treatment References

Gonzalez, S., Astner S., et al. (2003). "Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin decreases ultraviolet B-induced light epidermal hyperproliferation and acute inflammation in hairless mice." J Invest Dermatol 121: 399-405.

Morganti, P., Bruno, C., et al. (2002). "Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress." International J Cosmetic Science 24:331-339.

Mathew-Roth, M. M., Wilson, T., Fujimori, E., and Krinsky, N. I., Carotenoid Chromophore Length and Protection Against Photosensitization, Photochem. Photobiol. 19: 217-222 (1974).

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Lutein and Carotenoid Skin Care and Treatment References

Pintea A, Diehl H, Momeu C, Aberle L, Socaciu C. Incorporation of carotenoid esters into liposomes. Biophysical Chemistry 2005;118:7—14.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin - Monograph. Altern Med Rev. 2005 Jun;10(2):128-135.

Stahl W, Sies H. Bioactivity and protective effects of natural carotenoids. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2005 May 30;1740(2):101-7.

McNaughton SA, Marks GC, Gaffney P, Williams G, Green AC. Antioxidants and basal cell carcinoma of the skin: A nested case-control study. Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Jun;16(5):609-18.

Millen AE, Tucker MA, Hartge P, Halpern A, Elder DE, Guerry D 4th, Holly EA, Sagebiel RW, Potischman N. Diet and melanoma in a case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Jun;13(6):1042-51.

Lee EH, Faulhaber D, Hanson KM, Ding W, Peters S, Kodali S, Granstein RD. Dietary lutein reduces ultraviolet radiation-induced inflammation and immunosuppression. J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Feb;122(2):510-7.

Dorgan JF, Boakye NA, Fears TR, Schleicher RL, Helsel W, Anderson C, Robinson J, Guin JD, Lessin S, Ratnasinghe LD, Tangrea JA. Serum carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol and risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Aug;13(8):1276-82.

Morganti P, Fabrizi G, Bruno C. Protective effects of oral antioxidants on skin and eye function. Skinmed. 2004 Nov-Dec;3(6):310-6.

Chaparro RS, Carr E, Barron JL. Hypercarotenaemia or hypercarotenoidaemia. Ann Clin Biochem. 2003 May;40 (Pt 3):280-2.

Gonzalez S, Astner S, An W, Goukassian D, Pathak MA. Dietary lutein/zeaxanthin decreases ultraviolet B-induced epidermal hyperproliferation and acute inflammation in hairless mice. J Invest Dermatol. 2003 Aug;121(2):399-405.

Mukhtar H. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables for photoprotection: emerging evidence. J Invest Dermatol. 2003 Aug:121(2):vii.

Sies H, Stahl W. Non-nutritive bioactive constituents of plants: lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Mar;73(2):95-100.

Heinrich U, Gartner C, Wiebusch M, Eichler O, Sies H, Tronnier H, Stahl W. Supplementation with beta-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema. J Nutr. 2003 Jan;133(1):98-101.

Fung TT, Spiegelman D, Egan KM, Giovannucci E, Hunter DJ, Willett WC. Vitamin and carotenoid intake and risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin. Int J Cancer. 2003 Jan 1;103(1):110-5.

Morganti P, Bruno C, Guarneri F, Cardillo P, Del Ciotto P, Valenzano F. Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress. Int J Cosmetic Sci. 2002 24:331-339.

Stahl W, Sies H. Carotenoids and protection against solar UV radiation. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002 Sep-Oct;15(5):291-6. Review.

Eichler O, Sies H, Stahl W. Divergent optimum levels of lycopene, beta-carotene and lutein protecting against UVB irradiation in human fibroblasts. Photochem Photobiol. 2002 May;75(5):503-6.

Bruch-Gerharz D, Stahl W, Gerharz CD, Megahed M, Wingerath T, Sies H, Ruzicka T. Accumulation of the xanthophylls lutein in skin amyloid deposits of systemic amyloidosis (AL type). J Invest Dermatol. 2001 Jan;116(1):196-197.

Nagao T, Warnakulasuriya S, Ikeda N, Fukano H, Yamamoto S, Yano M, Miyazaki H, Ito Y. Serum antioxidant micronutrient levels in oral lichen planus. J Oral Pathol Med. 2001 May;30(5):264-7.

Lee J, Jiang S, Levine N, Watson R. Carotenoid supplementation reduces erythema in human skin after simulated solar radiation exposure. Proc Soc Exp Biolog Med. 2000 223:170-174.

Hata TR, Scholz TA, Ermakov IV, McClane RW, Khackik F, Gellermann W, Pershing LK. Non-invasive raman spectroscopic detection of carotenoids in human skin. J Invest Dermatol. 2000 Sep:115(3):441-448.

Stahl W, Heinrich U, Jungmann H, Sies, H, Tronnier H. Carotenoids and carotenoids plus vitamin E protect against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 71:795-798.

Stahl W, Heinrich U, Jungmann H, von Laar J, Schietzel M, Sies H, Tronnier H. Increased dermal carotenoid levels assessed by noninvasive reflection spectrophotometry correlate with serum levels in women ingesting Betatene. J Nutr. 1998 128:903-907.

Wingerath T, Sies H, Stahl W. Xanthophyll esters in human skin. Arch Biochem Biophy. 1998 Jul;355(2):271-274.

Taylor EJ, Evans FJ. Anti-psoriatic action of lutein demonstrated by inhibition of rat photodermatitis. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1998 50(Supp):78.

O'Connor I, O'Brian N. Modulation of UVA light-induced oxidative stress by B-carotene, lutein and astaxanthin in cultured fibroblasts. J Dermat Sci. 1998 16:226-230.

Rocchi E, Stella AM, Cassanelli M, Borghi A, Nardella N, Seium Y, Casalgrandi G. Liposoluble vitamins and naturally occurring carotenoids in porphyria cutanea tarda. Eur J Clin Invest. 1995 Jul;25(7):510-4.

Peng YM, Peng YS, Lin Y. A nonsaponification method for the determination of carotenoids, retinoids, and tocopherols in solid human tissues. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1993 Mar-Apr;2(2):139-44.

Peng YM, Peng YS, Lin Y, Moon T, Baier M. Micronutrient concentrations in paired skin and plasma of patients with actinic keratoses: effect of prolonged retinol supplementation. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1993 Mar-Apr;2(2):145-50.

Nierenberg DW, Nann SL. A method for determining concentrations of retinol, tocopherol, and five carotenoids in human plasma and tissue samples. Am J Clin Nutr. 1992 Aug;56(2):417-26.

Wednesday, 20 September 2006

List of Raw Foods High in Lutein



Mg. of Lutein/Serving

Kale (raw)

26.5 / 1 cup

Kale (cooked)

11.9 / 1/2 cup

Spinach (cooked)

10.2 / 1/2 cup

Collards (cooked)

7.3 / 1/2 cup

Turnip greens (cooked)

6.1 / 1/2 cup

Spinach (fresh, raw)

3.7 / 1 cup

Romaine lettuce (raw)

1.1 / 1 cup

Green peas (canned)

1.1 / 1/2 cup

Broccoli (cooked)

0.8 / 1/2 cup

Corn (canned)

0.8 / 1/2 cup

Corn (cooked)

0.8 / 1/2 cup

Green beans (cooked)

0.4 / 1/2 cup


0.3 / 2 large

Orange juice (frozen concentrate)

0.3 / 8 oz

Orange (raw)

0.2 / 1 medium

Papaya (raw)

0.2 / 1 medium

Tangerine (raw)

0.1 / 1 medium

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