Zeaxanthin and lutein are members of the carotenoid family that work together as stereoisomers. They are both natural, fat-soluble, yellow pigments found in some plants and algae. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both naturally present in the retina and macula (eye) as well. Lutein and zeaxanthin work to gather and reflect lights, protecting organisms from harmful UVs and oxygen. These are the only two carotenoids found in the human lens that work to protect against cataract development and increases in lens density. Good sources of zeaxanthin include corn, egg yolks, green fruits and vegetables.
The following drugs may decrease the absorption and effectiveness of zeaxanthin and lutein: cholestyramine, colestipol, mineral oil, and orlistat. As with any drug or supplement, consult a health care professional.
At the time, there have been no reported side effects associated with zeaxanthin.
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