Lutein and zeaxanthin may improve musculoskeletal health and reduce the risk of weakness

“This study is among the first to evaluate longitudinal associations between plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations and incident frailty and changes in musculoskeletal outcomes in older adults.” write the Dublin-based researchers.

The research team extracted data from the first five waves (2010 to 2018) of The Irish Longitudinal Study of Aging (TILDA)​, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of aging that included baseline data from 8,500 participants aged over 50 years in Ireland.

Lutein, zeaxanthin and aging

Found ​in sources such as dark leafy greens, peas, summer squash, broccoli, carrots, parsley, paprika, sweet corn, and eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin are primarily associated with improving eye health and mitigating age-related macular degeneration.

However, emerging evidence suggests that these two compounds may also play a protective role in other conditions caused by inflammatory and oxidative stress, including frailty, sarcopenia, and osteoporosis.

“Healthier dietary patterns that are rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with better maintenance of musculoskeletal health and lower incidence of frailty in older adults in observational studies.”the researchers state.

“Since aging is associated with a decline in the endogenous antioxidant defense system, increased dietary intake of exogenous antioxidants such as carotenoids may help correct redox balance and reduce oxidative damage.”

Study details

Cross-sectional analyzes of a cohort of 4,513 TILDA Wave 1 participants compared plasma lutein and zeaxanthin concentrations with grip strength, usual gait speed, timed get-up-and-go (TUG), probable sarcopenia, and bone mass at baseline. Meanwhile, longitudinal analyzes (n​ = 1425–3100) assessed changes over time in habitual gait speed and bone stiffness index (Wave 3, 2014-2015), grip strength and probable sarcopenia (Wave 4, 2016), and TAMPER and incident weakness (wave 5, 2018).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *