Safety and Bioavailability of Carotenoids By Michael J. Tolentino, MD, and Andrew J. Tolentino As you know, lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z), and meso-zeaxanthin (M) are carotenoids that accumula te as pigment in the center part of the retina called the macula. Macular pigment (MP) protects against macular degeneration, enhances visual performance, filters high-energy blue light, and potently neutralizes free radicals. Accumulation of macular pigment, while important for vision, requires dietary intake to initiate and maintain adequate levels, so understanding bioavailability and safety of these carotenoids is crucial.

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