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Lutein and cataract: from bench to bedside.

  • Manayi, Azadeh1
  • Abdollahi, Mohammad2
  • Raman, Thiagarajan3
  • Nabavi, Seyed Fazel4
  • Habtemariam, Solomon5
  • Daglia, Maria6
  • Nabavi, Seyed Mohammad4
  • 1 a Medicinal Plants Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran . , (Iran)
  • 2 b Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center , Tehran University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran . , (Iran)
  • 3 c Department of Bioengineering , School of Chemical & Biotechnology, SASTRA University , Thanjavur , India . , (India)
  • 4 d Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences , Tehran , Iran . , (Iran)
  • 5 e Pharmacognosy Research Laboratories , Medway School of Science, University of Greenwich, Chatham-Maritime , Kent , UK , and.
  • 6 f Department of Drug Sciences, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology Section , University of Pavia , Pavia , Italy. , (Italy)
Published Article
Critical reviews in biotechnology
Publication Date
October 2016
DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2015.1049510
PMID: 26042352


Cataract is one of the most important leading causes of blindness in the world. Extensive research showed that oxidative stress may play an important role in the initiation and progression of a cataract and other age-related eye diseases. Extra-generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in the eye tissue has been shown as one of the most important risk factors for cataracts and other age-related eye diseases. With respect to this, it can be hypothesized that dietary antioxidants may be useful in the prevention and/or mitigation of cataract. Lutein is an important xanthophyll which is widely found in different vegetables such as spinach, kale and carrots as well as some other foods such as eggs. Lutein is concentrated in the macula and suppresses the oxidative stress in the eye tissues. A plethora of literature has shown that increased lutein consumption has a close correlation with reduction in the incidence of cataract. Despite this general information, there is a negligible number of review articles considering the beneficial effects of lutein on cataracts and age-related eye diseases. The present review is aimed at discussing the role of oxidative stress in the initiation and progression of a cataract and the possible beneficial effects of lutein in maintaining retinal health and fighting cataract. We also provide a perspective on the chemistry, sources, bioavailability and safety of lutein.

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