Analysis of lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin in the organs of carotenoid-supplemented chickens

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Abstract

The macular carotenoids (i.e., lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ)) exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and optical properties that are believed to support human health and function. Studying the accumulation and distribution of these nutrients in tissues and organs, in addition to the eye, is an important step in understanding how these nutrients might support global human function and health (e.g., heart and brain). Chicken is an appropriate animal model with which to study the accumulation of these carotenoids in organs, as the relevant transport molecules and carotenoid binding proteins for L, Z and MZ are present in both humans and chickens. In this experiment, a sample of 3 chickens that were supplemented with L and MZ diacetate (active group) and a sample of 3 chickens that received a standard diet (control group) were analysed. Both groups were analysed for L, Z and MZ concentrations in the brain, eyes, heart, lung, duodenum/pancreas, jejunum/ileum, kidney and breast tissue. L, Z and MZ were identified in all the organs/tissues analysed from the active group. L and Z were identified in all of the organs/tissues analysed from the control group; while, MZ was identified in the eyes of these animals only. The discovery that MZ is accumulated in the tissues and organs of chickens supplemented with this carotenoid is important, given that it is known that a combination of L, Z and MZ exhibits superior antioxidant capacity when compared to any of these carotenoids in isolation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalFoods
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Carotenoids
  • Chicken
  • Lutein
  • Meso-zeaxanthin
  • Organs
  • Zeaxanthin

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