What Is cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Three yellow egg yolks in a bowl
You can find cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin in egg yolk

cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin are diet-based xanthophylls.

cis-Lutein and cis-Zeaxanthin are the cis-isomer of the two carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.

They are classified as non-provitamin A vitamins.

They are two of the six most abundant carotenoids we have in our body and the only two carotenoids that are selectively accumulated in our retina.

This means that cis-Lutein and cis-Zeaxanthin have a great impact on the health of our eyes.

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cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin Important For Eye Health

Their role in human health, in particular eye health, is well established from several studies. (source )

Even though the mechanism of action to the benefits, is not completely known, is it likely that these carotenoids act by binding to specific membrane receptors, and thus altering cell function.

In nature, Lutein mainly exists in cis-form. Meanwhile, Zeaxanthins cis-form is not that common. (source )

cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin In Food

cis-Lutein and cis-Zeaxanthin are present in high concentrations in the yolk of eggs from laying hens, while lutein is found in large quantities in the egg's yolk.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid pigments that give the yellow or orange color to many foods. Like cantaloupe, pasta, corn, carrots, orange/yellow peppers, and eggs. (source )

Foods You Can Find cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin In

You find cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin mostly in dairy and egg, and vegetable products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

We currently have just a few foods in our nutrition tool that contain cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin.

Here's our short list of foods that contain cis-Lutein/Zeaxanthin.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.