Lutein, a type of carotenoids, is found to delay the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Several lutein supplementation studies showed that after an initial increase, lutein serum levels demonstrated a subsequent decrease despite continuous supplementation. In this systematic literature review, this obscure phenomenon was tried to be explained. The subsequent drop in lutein levels was postulated due to down-regulation of lutein receptors scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) in the gastrointestinal tract, upregulation of lutein degrading enzyme β-carotene dioxygenase (BCDO2), or perhaps a combination of both. Some single nucleotides polymorphisms (SNPs) that could have influence on the occurrence of this phenomenon. To date, an exact scientific explanation for this phenomenon has not been established. Further research is needed to investigate this phenomenon in depth to reach an irrefutable explanation, giving that lutein is proven to be effective in delaying the onset and progression of AMD and its metabolism in the human body becomes of equal importance.
- macular degeneration
- beta-carotene dioxygenase
- scavenger receptor class B type I