Wikipedia—The Free Encyclopedia
LUTEIN(pronounced /ˈlutiən/, /ˈlutin/, /ˈlutɪɪn/[ from Latin LUTEUS MEANING (‘YELLOW) is one of over 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. LUTEIN is employed by organisms as an antioxidant and for blue light absorption. LUTEIN present in the plant as fatty-acid ester, with one or two fatty acids bound to the two hydroxyl-groups. Saponification of LUTEIN esters yields lutein in approximately a 1:2 molar ratio. LUTEIN is also found in egg yolks, animal fats, and the retina (zeaxanthin predominates at the macula lutea while lutein predominates elsewhere in the retina).LUTEIN is a lipophilic molecule and is generally insoluble in water. The presence of the long chromophore of conjugated double bonds (polyene chain) provides the distinctive light-absorbing properties. The polyene chain is susceptible to oxidative degradation by light or heat and is chemically unstable in acids.