Zeaxanthin and brain health

passed ITP recently.


The macular pigments zeaxanthin and lutein, due to their photophysical and antioxidant properties, are believed to protect the retina from photoinduced oxidative stress, and to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) [21–24]. The AREDS study demonstrated that supplementation with carotenoids, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin E reduced the 5-year risk of advanced AMD by 25% [25,26]. Higher intake of bioavailable lutein/zeaxanthin was found to be associated with a long-term reduced risk of advanced AMD [27]. In several model systems it was also demonstrated that antioxidant protection increased synergistically when combination of carotenoids and vitamin E was used [28–30]. Importantly, carotenoids are among the most efficient quenchers of singlet oxygen, while vitamin E is an efficient scavenger of peroxyl radicals [31–34]. Synergistic protection by zeaxanthin and vitamin E against photic stress in ARPE-19 cells, mediated by photosensitizing dyes [35], lipofuscin granules [13], or melanosomes [36], was shown in our previous studies

Although RPE cells were pooled from the same number of younger and older donors, about 17–20% more MLF granules was obtained in the group of older donors, compared to younger donors. Differences in pigmentation of MLF granules between both age groups were observed visually, and confirmed by EPR spectroscopy as discussed below. Here, we analyzed photoreactivity of MLF granules isolated from RPE of younger (MLF_18-29) and older (MLF_50-59) human donors, and examined the effects of zeaxanthin and vitamin E. First, the ability of the pigment granules to induce oxygen photoconsumption was compared. Although oxygen consumption accompanying a photoreaction provides limited information about the photoreaction mechanism, it is a convenient indicator of oxygen-dependent reactivity [52].

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Thus, preincubation of MLF with antioxidants lowered the observed rates of the DMPO-OOH accumulation by factor of 1.4 for MLF_18-29 + ZEA/TOC and by factor of 1.2 for MLF_50-59 + ZEA/TOC, when compared to the nonsupplemented granules. Although the rate of oxygen photoconsumption previously determined for purified lipofuscin granules was about six-fold higher than that of melanosomes, an inverse relation was observed for the corresponding accumulation of hydrogen peroxide [18]. It was concluded that in lipofuscin mediated photoprocesses, unlike in photoreactions involving melanosomes, only a small fraction of the photoconsumed dioxygen was

The results demonstrate that melanolipofuscin granules after phagocytosis by ARPE-19 cells were able to photoinduce oxidation of cellular proteins. The pro-oxidizing effect of MLF increases with age of human donors. It is worth noticing that supplementation of MLF granules with zeaxanthin and α-tocopherol reduced almost in half the extent of protein oxidation mediated by MLF from both age groups (Figure 5d). The inhibitory effect of supplementation of MLF with antioxidants on photooxidation of cellular proteins and the efficient quenching of singlet oxygen (vide supra) by the antioxidants, suggest Type II photochemistry of melanolipofuscin, with a major involvement of singlet oxygen. The apparent disparity between the efficiency of quenching of singlet oxygen by antioxidants and their inhibitory effect on photooxidation of cellular proteins, could result from different content of the antioxidants in MLF granules expected in model systems and in cells after phagocytosis of the granules.


tho all of this is for A2E which is a photopigment and more for the eyes than the brain


Zeaxanthin (fat soluble)

Rda 2mg daily

Sources of Zeaxanthin: Gogi berry powder and Kale…

1mg Xeaxanthin per gram gogi berry powder

(1 tsp gogi berrry powder = 2 gram gogi powder)

Lutein / Xeaxanthin: 18g total of lutein and xeaxanthin in 100g kale, 6 g daily is best, 66g kale in one cup

Lutein (fat soluble)

Rda 10mg day

Source (I forgot, from notes, directly quoted below)
Zeaxanthin in dried goji berries [2] 1860 mcg/g of saponified zeaxanthin (186.0 mg/100 g) 1588 mcg/g of unsaponified zeaxanthin (158.8 mg/100 g) Total: 3448 mcg zeaxanthin per single gram

The same study also found other carotenoids in dried goji berries [2] 57.0 mcg/g of lutein in dried goji berries (5.7 mg/100 g) 61.0 mcg/g of beta-cryptoxanthin (6.1 mg/100 g) 10.0 mcg/g of beta-carotene (1.0 mg/100 g)

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These are the same supplements found in typical vision-care supplements like this one:

  • PRESERVISION AREDS 2 EYE VITAMINS: This formula uses Lutein & Zeaxanthin, zinc, copper, Vitamin C & Vitamin E to exactly match the nutrient formula recommended by the AMD experts at the National Eye Institute based on the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2.
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I wonder how well rapamycin eye drops would compare for reducing inflammation.

Here they studied such drops for retinal inflammatory disease in mice and rabbits:

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I thought astaxanthin was tested in the ITP, not zeaxanthin?