Lutein, the antioxidant for healthy vision and skin, has reached a new threshold in its impact on a chronic eye disease. At the same time, emerging research demonstrates a growing connection between lutein to skin health.

Kemin Foods (Des Moines, Iowa) continues to develop new ingredient forms of FloraGLO[r] Lutein‚ to respond to food and beverage formulator demand. A recent, year-long clinical trial published in the April 2004 issue of Optometry: The Journal of the American Optometric Association suggested that a daily 10mg intake of purified, crystalline lutein among 90 older adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) exhibited symptom improvement and increased visual function among patients.1 According to the research findings, “visual function is improved with lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients.”

The study, the Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST), may set the stage for a larger, more comprehensive trial to provide even greater validation of lutein's impact on AMD.

The LAST trial, conducted by Stuart Richer, M.D., in Chicago, is significant in that it is the largest, longest trial to show actual impact on progression of AMD symptoms and visual function among AMD patients. This study used FloraGLO Lutein as the lutein ingredient given to participating patients. Historically, the lutein story in connection with chronic eye disease has been a story of disease risk reduction.

Lutein and Skin

Lutein's function in plants is to protect chlorophyll in green plant leaves from damaging effects of high-energy blue wavelengths of visible light. Science indicates lutein may play a similar role in human tissue.

Research has suggested lutein may provide supplemental antioxidant capacity to the skin, helping to possibly counteract depletion of the skin's natural antioxidant system due to damage from light exposure and other environmental assaults.4 Hydration of skin appears to be positively affected with antioxidant intake, including lutein.5

In separate animal model studies, research teams at Harvard University (Boston) and Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) also have suggested lutein supplementation may help to reduce some irritative effects of high-energy light wavelengths on skin.

Array of Product Forms

With the burgeoning science behind lutein--more than 300 peer-reviewed papers to date--food and beverage formulators have more forms of lutein available than at any other time. Besides a variety of oil and beadlet payload options, newer water-dispersible (for clear beverages) and vegetarian granule forms of FloraGLO Lutein have recently been introduced, all with GRAS status in multiple food categories.

Produced under patent as crystalline, purified lutein, FloraGLO Lutein is molecularly identical to the lutein found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolk.


1. Richer SP, Stiles W, et al. (2004). “The lutein antioxidant supplementation trial (LAST) J Am Opt Assn 75 (4): 216-230

2. Gonzalez S, Wu A, Pathak MA, Sifakis M and Goukassian DA. Oral administration of lutein modulates cell proliferation induced by acute UV-B radiation in the SHK-1 hairless mouse animal model (Abstract). The Society of Investigative Dermatology, 63rd Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA., 2002

3. Granstein RD, Faulhaber D and Ding W. Lutein inhibits UV-B radiation-induced tissue swelling and suppression of the induction of contact hypersensitivity (CHS) in the mouse (Abstract). The Society of Investigative Dermatology, 62nd Annual Meeting, Washington, 2001, p. 497

4. Podda M, Traber M G, Weber C, Yan L-J, Packer L. UV-irradiation depletes antioxidants and causes oxidative damage in a model of human skin. Free Rad. Biol. Med. 24: 55-65, 1998

5. Morganti P, Bruno C, Guarneriz F, Cardillo A, Del Ciotto P and Valenzanoz F. Role of topical and nutritional supplement to modify the oxidative stress. Int J Cosmet Sci 24:331-339, 2002

For more information:

Kemin Foods, Cheryl Sturm


Call 888-536-4666 for copies of the complete study.