Carotenoids can absorb light in the visible range of the spectrum (1). In the eye, lutein and zeaxanthin efficiently absorb blue light. As antioxidants, reducing the amount of blue light that reaches the critical visual structures, they may protect the eye from light-induced oxidative damage (2). By its function as antioxidants however the roles of lutein and zeaxanthin are not limited to the eyes, but also have their roles in other body tissues like brain, skin or vascular systems.
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Jonas Wittwer on 13.06.2017