According to a study published in June 2011 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, free lutein has a better bioavailability or absorption than lutein esters, enabling a higher utilization by the body.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two dietary carotenoids, which accumulate physiologically in a specific part of the retina, the macula lutea or “yellow spot” referred to as the macular pigment (MP). Higher levels of MP are associated with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and improved visual function. The available supplements contain lutein either in its free or in an esterified form.
The present study was conducted to determine whether free lutein or lutein ester has a better bioavailability and is thus more available in the blood to be accumulated into the MP.
The investigators, E.P. Norkus (Department of Medical Research, Montefiore Medical Center, New York) and colleagues demonstrated that the relative plasma lutein response to supplementation with FloraGLO® Lutein containing free lutein is significantly greater than that to supplementation with lutein esters. The study was done with 72 volunteers. After 7 days of supplementation, plasma lutein levels were significantly higher in subjects who had received free lutein. They remained so through four weeks of supplementation. The Area under the Curve response was 23% greater for free lutein.
FloraGLO® is a registered trademark of Kemin Industries, Inc.
Norkus, E. P., Norkus, K.L., Dharmarajan, T.S., Schierle, J., and Schalch, W. (2010). "Serum lutein response is greater from free lutein than from esterified lutein during four weeks of supplementation in healthy adults." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 29 (6) 575-585. http://www.ajcn.org/.
DSM – Bright Science. Brighter Living. ™
Royal DSM N.V. is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM’s 22,000 employees deliver annual net sales of about € 9 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext. More information can be found at http://www.dsm.com/.