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Lutein and Zeaxanthin Found to Help Improve Cognitive Function


Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that have been shown to help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Now a new study suggests they may also help improve cognitive function in the areas of memory and processing speed.



Fifty-nine healthy people between the ages of 18 and 25 participated in the study. Participants took a supplement containing 10.86 mg of lutein and 2.27 mg of zeaxanthin, 22.33 mg of lutein and 4.70 mg of zeaxanthin or a placebo daily for 6 months. The researchers measured the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin in the retina and serum concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and antioxidant capacity at baseline and at the end of the study. Cognitive performance was assessed via a computer-based assessment tool.





Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and antioxidant capacity increased significantly in both supplement groups. Scores for composite memory, verbal memory, sustained attention, psychomotor speed, and processing speed also improved significantly in both supplement groups and remained unchanged in the placebo group.





The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia. It was published online ahead of print on August 16, 2019 in the journal Physiology & Behavior.


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