Lutemax® is a patented lutein & zeaxanthin ingredient clinically demonstrated to support vision and other areas of health.
Lutemax is patented form of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two natural compounds protect the eyes from age-related disorders and provide other health benefits. In this review, we will cover Lutemax’s advantages over generic lutein and zeaxanthin ingredients:
- Patented formula. Lutemax’s preparation and unique composition, which includes both natural forms of zeaxanthin, is protected by multiple patents.
- Clinically Researched. Lutemax’s eye, skin, and other health benefits are backed by multiple high-quality human studies.
- Natural ratio. Lutemax provides lutein and zeaxanthin in the same 5:1 ratio as found in nature and the human diet.
Lutemax is a brand of lutein and zeaxanthin made by Indian supplement ingredients company OmniActive. Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow and orange-colored carotenoid compounds found in fruits, dark leafy vegetables, and other plants. They are best known for playing a critical role in vision health, because both carotenoids naturally accumulate in the eyes and protect them from photo-oxidative damage.
Unlike generic lutein and zeaxanthin products, Lutemax stands out for having extensive clinical research evidence, which highlights not just benefits for vision but also other areas of health such as skin protection and even stress reduction.
Lutemax is made from non-GMO marigold flowers, whose bright yellow-orange color comes from high levels of these two carotenoids. It comes in two varieties:
- Lutemax Lutein, which provides pure lutein
- Lutemax 2020, a new, award-winning mix of lutein (80%) and zeaxanthin (20%)
As a supplement ingredient, Lutemax is typically used in products that support eye health and improve visual performance.
How does Lutemax work?
Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants that are particularly prominent in eye health because they are concentrated in the retina. Here, these carotenoids make up the macular pigment (MP) which protects the eye from damage caused by sunlight and oxidative stress. In addition, novel research suggests that these carotenoids can also protect the skin and the brain.
Lutemax is protected by multiple worldwide and U.S. patents.
Lutemax 2020 composition/preparation
This European patent* (2473065) protects the unique composition of Lutemax 2020, which includes a concentrated mix of lutein and zeaxanthin at a ratio of anywhere from 4:1 to 6:1 in their three natural forms – trans-lutein, RR-zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin, a natural variant (isomer) of zeaxanthin. In addition, this patent describes the proprietary method for preparing Lutemax 2020 from marigold flower extract.
* The American version of this patent is still pending
Lutemax Lutein preparation
This patent describes the preparation method of Lutemax Lutein, where marigold flower petals are used to extract xanthophyll (a group of carotenoids that includes lutein and zeaxanthin) crystals that contain at least 85% xanthophylls, at least 90% of which is lutein and/or zeaxanthin (U.S. Patent 6743953).
Lutemax 2020 for neuroprotection
This patent covers the use of Lutemax for protecting the brain from neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, by itself and in combination with the neuroprotective compounds Levodopa and Carbidopa (U.S. Patent 9849096).
Lutemax Nutritional Supplement Uses
Both Lutemax Lutein and Lutemax 2020 are popular ingredients in a variety of supplements. The most common supplement categories that contain Lutemax are:
Lutemax is found almost exclusively in eye health supplements because of a large amount of evidence pointing to the importance of lutein and zeaxanthin in protecting the eyes from age-related disorders. Indeed, multiple studies have found that these carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts, and improve vision in people with these conditions.
In addition, there is clinical evidence that Lutemax can reduce eye strain and fatigue, and even enhance healthy vision. For example, some studies have found that lutein and zeaxanthin improve vision in low-light conditions, and that Lutemax improves visual function in glare conditions and photostress recovery – the amount of time needed for vision to return to normal after exposure to bright light.
Read more: Vision supplements guide
In addition to the above, Lutemax also has potential to be used in:
- Skin supplements, because of evidence that lutein and zeaxanthin can protect the skin from sun-induced damage 1
- Nootropic supplements, because of new research showing that lutein accumulates in the brain and may help protect it 2
- Anti-stress supplements, thanks to a study showing reduction of cortisol (stress hormone) and physiological stress in young adults taking Lutemax
Lutemax, and particularly Lutemax 2020, holds several advantages over generic lutein and zeaxanthin supplement ingredients:
- Patented formula: Lutemax is protected by multiple patents, and provides lutein and zeaxanthin in their natural forms, including a small amount of meso-zeaxanthin.
- Natural ratio: Lutemax 2020 provides the same natural 5:1 ratio of lutein to zeaxanthin as found in nature, diet, and the human body.
- Clinical research: Lutemax’s vision, skin, stress reduction, and other benefits are backed by multiple randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) – the gold standard of human research.
- High quality: Lutemax 2020 won the 2018 NutrAward for best functional ingredient.
- Safety: Lutemax is Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA and has been demonstrated to be safe in multiple studies. 3 4
- Non-GMO: Lutemax is made from non-GMO marigold flowers.
Clinical studies of Lutemax 2020 report increased macular pigment optical density (MPOD), improved visual performance, alleviation of eye strain and fatigue, skin protection from sun damage, stress reduction, and other benefits.
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the effects of Lutemax 2020 supplementation on vision. A total of 59 adults (average age 22) took Lutemax 2020 in one of two dosages (10/20 mg lutein and 2/4 mg zeaxanthin) or placebo daily for 12 months. Both carotenoid groups experienced significant improvement of macular pigment optical density (MPOD) – a measure of the thickness of macular pigment found in the eye’s macula, which is composed of lutein and zeaxanthin.
This change was accompanied by improvements in repeated-exposure photostress recovery (PSR), a measure of the eyes’ ability to return to normal function after exposure to bright light, and disability glare (DG), a measure of difficulty seeing due to presence of a bright light. These effects can be particularly useful for improving visual performance in bright light conditions, such as driving at night when facing oncoming traffic headlights.
- The researchers concluded that “increases in MPOD produce more consistent steady-state visual performance in bright light conditions.” 5
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the ability of Lutemax 2020 to increase blood and retina carotenoid levels. A total of 28 people were given placebo or Lutemax at three different dosages – 7.44 mg total carotenoids (lutein 83%, zeaxanthin 10%, and meso-zeaxanthin 7%), 13.13 mg, or 27.03 mg – daily for 12 weeks. All three dosages significantly increased blood lutein and zeaxanthin levels and macular pigment optical density (MPOD), although 13.13 mg had the strongest improvement. These effects can help protect the eyes from AMD and other disorders, and potentially support other areas of health.
- The researchers concluded that “it appears that even a relatively low (7.44 mg) daily dose of retinal carotenoids can produce meaningful responses in the serum and retina over 12 weeks.” 6
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study looked at the use of Lutemax 2020 for protecting against the negative effects of excessive screen device (phone, laptop, etc) usage. A total of 48 adults who used electronic screen devices at least 6 hours a day were given placebo or Lutemax 2020 (24 mg carotenoids) daily for 6 months. Supplementation increased MPOD levels, and improved sleep quality, reduced headaches, eye strain & fatigue, and measures of visual performance like contrast sensitivity.
- The researchers concluded that “The results of the present study…offer a benign, nutrition-based therapy for reducing the incidence of many undesirable outcomes associated with excessive ST [screen time].” 7
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effects of Lutemax 2020 on chronic stress. A total of 59 young adults were given placebo or Lutemax (13 mg or 27 mg carotenoids) daily for 12 months. Compared to placebo, supplementation improved measures of psychological stress, emotional & physical health, and cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
- The researchers concluded that “Supplementation with the MCs significantly reduces stress, cortisol, and symptoms of sub-optimal emotional and physical health.” 8
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the skin-protective effects of Lutemax 2020. A total of 50 individuals with dry skin were given placebo or Lutemax 2020 (10 mg lutein/2 mg zeaxanthin) daily for 12 weeks. Compared to placebo, the carotenoid group experienced lightening of skin and had increased protection from sunburn.
- The researchers concluded that “L/Zi supplementation lightens and improves skin conditions.” 9
- Successful clinical studies most commonly use 10-20 mg lutein/2-4 mg zeaxanthin dosages
- In both standalone products and multi-ingredient formulas, Lutemax is usually presented in 20 mg lutein/4 mg zeaxanthin softgel dosages
Supplements in Review Recommendation
- Lutemax 2020®, 20 mg lutein/4 mg zeaxanthin.
Lutemax is the highest quality, most-researched lutein & zeaxanthin ingredient available. Unlike generic lutein and zeaxanthin, Lutemax is patented and proven to provide a wide range of vision and other health benefits in high-quality clinical studies.
Research suggests 10-20 mg lutein/2-4 mg zeaxanthin. Most successful studies use dosages of 10-20 mg lutein/2-4 mg zeaxanthin, which are similar to the 20 mg/4 mg dosages most commonly found in supplements.
- Roberts RL et al. Lutein and zeaxanthin in eye and skin health. Clin Dermatol. 2009 Mar-Apr;27(2):195-201. ↩
- John W. Erdman, Jr. et al. Lutein and Brain Function. Foods. 2015 Dec; 4(4): 547–564. ↩
- Ravikrishnan R et al. Safety assessment of lutein and zeaxanthin (Lutemax 2020): subchronic toxicity and mutagenicity studies. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Nov;49(11):2841-8. ↩
- Juturu V, Bowman JP, Stringham NT, Stringham JM (2016) Bioavailability of lutein/zeaxanthin isomers and macular pigment optical density response to macular carotenoid supplementation: A randomized double blind placebo controlled study. New Front Ophthalmol 2 ↩
- James M. Stringham et al. Macular carotenoid supplementation improves disability glare performance and dynamics of photostress recovery. Eye and Vision20163:30. ↩
- Stringham JM and Stringham NT. Serum and retinal responses to three different doses of macular carotenoids over 12 weeks of supplementation. Exp Eye Res. 2016 Oct;151:1-8. ↩
- Stringham JM et al. Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure. Foods. 2017 Jun 29;6(7). ↩
- Stringham NT et al. Supplementation with macular carotenoids reduces psychological stress, serum cortisol, and sub-optimal symptoms of physical and emotional health in young adults. Nutr Neurosci. 2018 May;21(4):286-296. ↩
- Juturu V et al. Overall skin tone and skin-lightening-improving effects with oral supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2016 Oct 7;9:325-332. ↩