Lutein, an Important Nutrient for Eye Development


Lutein, an important nutrient for eye development


Lutein is an important nutritional element for eye development, it accumulates in the retina of the human eye, distributes in the macular area of the eye and the entire retina, and is mainly involved in the formation of macular pigment in the retina. In addition, the central part of the human brain also gathers high concentrations of lutein.

The human body cannot synthesize lutein by itself and must be ingested from the outside world. Babies can obtain it from breast milk, adults can obtain it from nature. Common vegetables such as carrots, spinach, pumpkins, leeks, corn and other plants. However, the effect of supplementing lutein cannot be achieved by relying on the amount of daily diet alone. At this time, a supplement with high content of lutein is a good choice.

The lutein in the market comes from lutein ester, which is a kind of carotenoid fatty acid ester contained in plant marigold or microalgae. The content of marigold flower is relatively high.


What is the difference between lutein and lutein esters?

1. Chemical structure

The molecular formula of lutein is C40H56O2, the relative molecular weight is 568.85, CasNo.: 127-40-2. 
Lutein is a dihydroxy carotenoid containing an ionone ring.

The molecular formula of lutein ester is C72H116O4, the relative molecular weight is 1045.71


2. Process

The lutein ester is extracted from the marigold flower with an organic solvent, and then the lutein ester is further saponified with an alkali reagent to convert the fatty acid structure -R in the lutein ester structure into -OH, which becomes Lutein. Lutein esters are intermediate products for obtaining lutein, which also indirectly indicates that the naturally occurring components in marigolds are lutein esters, not lutein.