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ABSTRACT: Lutein is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties and is commonly present in many fruits, vegetables, and egg yolk. Lutein affords protection against the development of the two common eye diseases of aging: cataract and macular degeneration. As the dietary lutein concentration is much lower compared to the actual requirement to reduce macular degeneration, supplementation of lutein is under consideration. There are very few data on the toxicity of lutein. In the present study, the authors have evaluated the short-term and long-term toxicity profile of lutein and its esterified form isolated from marigold flowers (Tagetes erecta) in young adult male and female Wistar rats. Lutein and its ester form administered orally at doses of 4, 40, and 400 mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks for short-term toxicity study and 13 weeks for a subchronic toxicity study did not produced any mortality, change in body weight, food consumption pattern, organ weight, and other adverse side reactions. Administration of lutein and ester form did not alter the hepatic and renal function, and did not produce any change in the hematological parameters and in lipid profile. Histopathological analysis of the organs supported the nontoxicity of lutein and its ester form.
International Journal of Toxicology 01/2008; 27(1):1-9. · 1.35 Impact Factor