Scientists have identified a protein transporter for the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to protect against the development of age-related macular degeneration.
These two nutrients are not made by the body and must be obtained through the diet. They are commonly found in green, leafy vegetables, such as kalelinks, spinach, broccoli, zucchini and peas, and in yellow or orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, papaya, squash and peaches.
According to the study, the protein SR-B1, or scavenger receptor class B, type 1, plays a central role in transporting these nutrients from the bloodstream to cells in the eye.
The research, published in the August issue of the Journal of Lipid Research, provides supporting evidence that lutein and zaxanthin may indeed be useful in preventing and/or treating age-related macular degeneration.