Lutein and Zeaxanthin are usually talked about together because they are both found naturally in our retinas. Both of these vitamins are believed to have a protecting effect against damaging light in our eyes. They also may contribute to the pigmentation in our iris.
Studies suggest that Lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect our eyes against damaging high energy light and that having a diet rich in these vitamins may help to slow the development of age-related degeneration and cataracts. USDA researchers have also been looking into the effect of lutein and zeaxanthin on lung and breast cancer as well.
There is no official recommended daily intake but studies have shown that taking a 10mg/day supplement for lutein and 2 mg/day for zeaxanthin have been beneficial.
Low macular pigment density and a higher chance of developing AMD are possible with a deficiency in lutein and zeaxanthin.
Sources in the Diet
Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in cooked kale and spinach, raw spinach, cooked zucchini, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and green beans.
Recent Studies and Articles
ADM and lutein and zeaxanthin
Lutein, zeaxabthin, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for ADM
-  – The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs
-  – http://juicingtherainbow.com/860/nutrients/lutein-and-zeaxanthin/
-  – http://www.aoa.org/x11815.xml
-  – Dole Nutrition Institute. The Dole Nutrition Handbook. Printed in the United States of America; Rodale Inc. 2010.
-  – http://medicinalplants.us/lutein-and-zeaxanthin-food-sources-deficiency-signs-and-symptoms