Lutein and zeaxanthin isomers help reduce stress

Established for improving eye health, the isomers deposit in neural tissue in both the eyes and brain, so can aid stress levels as well

Lutein and zeaxanthin isomers — known as the macular carotenoids — are traditionally associated with eye health, but researchers at the University of Georgia found an interesting connection to their function in brain health, showing that they improved stress levels and reduced serum cortisol.

The LAMA II (Lutein, Vision and Mental Acuity II) study was the subject of a recent paper, “Supplementation with macular carotenoids reduces psychological stress, serum cortisol, and sub-optimal symptoms of physical and emotional health in young adults.”

LAMA II further demonstrates the vision and cognitive benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers seen in LAMA I. The study was published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, 2017.

The study

In LAMA II, 59 healthy, young adults aged 18–25 participated in the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in which blood cortisol, psychological stress ratings, behavioural measures of mood and symptoms of sub-optimal health were measured at baseline, six months; then after 12-months of daily supplementation with either a placebo, 10/2mg, or 20/4mg of lutein/zeaxanthin isomers from Lutemax 2020.

The results show that supplementation of both doses for six months significantly improved psychological stress, serum cortisol and measures of emotional and physical health compared to placebo. This was maintained or further improved after 12 months of supplementation.

Potential for the future

Functioning as potent antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin isomers specifically deposit in neural tissue, in specific regions of both the eyes and brain.

“This research demonstrates the expanded benefits of supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin isomers to help address the huge public health concern surrounding elevated stress and cortisol levels,” said Abhijit Bhattacharya, President of OmniActive Health Technologies, producers of Lutemax 2020.

“The results of LAMA II serve as a strong foundation on which new macular carotenoids science can be built.”

Lutemax 2020, a naturally-derived marigold extract providing all three macular carotenoids, is available from of quality nutritional ingredients provider, OmniActive Health Technologies.

With chronic stress linked to a variety of health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and anxiety, findings like this show great promise for billions of people worldwide.