Various studies showed promising photoprotective and anti-aging effects of lutein, but it was mostly investigated in combination with other antioxidants, and some study results are contradictory. The aim of this randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled intervention was to investigate the effects of dietary lutein supplementation on minimal erythema dose (MED) as a measure of skin’s photoprotective potential, and other skin parameters. Thirty healthy women received supplementation of lutein (20 mg/day; liquid formulation) or placebo for 12 weeks. In the test group, MED was significantly increased, indicating greater individual’s resistance to the production of erythema following UV radiation. The overall treatment effect was 0.114 J/cm2 corresponding to a relative increase of photoprotective activity of 22%. On the other hand, we were unable to confirm supportive effects for skin regeneration. Study findings show that dietary supplementation with lutein improved skin photoprotective potential and could contribute to skin defense against UVR-mediated skin damage.
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