Doctor's Best Lutein Featuring Lutemax 2020 Softgels

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Size: 60 Softgels
$29.50 $39.90



  • Clinically proven for vision and eye health. 
  • Enhances visual function. 
  • Promotes macular health. 
  • Supports the eyes during aging. 

Doctor's Best Lutein Featuring Lutemax® supplies lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin, the three carotenoid nutrients that predominate in the eye. These carotenoids naturally accumulate in the retina and support healthy light sensing and glare control. They are also excellent antioxidants.

Although meso-zeaxanthin is important for retinal health, it is very rare in the diet.  This full-spectrum combination of retinal carotenoids promotes healthy visual function across the lifespan.

Scientific studies measuring the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin on optical health can be divided into three general areas:

  • Role of carotenoids and macular pigment in eye health
  • Decline of lutein and zeaxanthin through natural aging
  • Ratios of lutein and zeaxanthin

Role of carotenoids and macular pigment in eye health

Science has shown that lutein and zeaxanthin isomers, two carotenoids that naturally accumulate in the macula of the eye, may protect against degenerative diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Lutein and zeaxanthin supply the eyes with macular pigment. The coloration effects of this pigment, along with its antioxidant activity, have been found to protect the macula from damaging photo-oxidative effects.

Decline of lutein and zeaxanthin through natural aging

As a natural component of the aging process, levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye have been shown to decrease with age, leaving the eyes susceptible to impairment. Epidemiological studies indicate that an enhanced dietary intake level of lutein and zeaxanthin may help counter this natural decline and may have a positive effect on eye health. 

Ratios of lutein and zeaxanthin

Many eye health ingredients supply carotenoids solely in the form of lutein, however, both lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to play a role in the health of the macula, with higher concentrations of zeaxanthin centrally.


Active ingredients per softgel:
Lutein 20mg
  (from Lutemax® 2020 marigold flower extract)
Zeaxanthin 4mg
  (from Lutemax® 2020 marigold flower extract)[minimum 1mg meso-zeaxanthin]

Other ingredients: Sunflower oil, gelatin (capsule), glycerin, purified water. 

Non-GMO and gluten free. 

Contains nothing other than listed ingredients.


Adults: Take 1 softgel daily, with or without food, or more, as recommended by a nutritionally-informed physician. 


Enhances Visual Function
The density of macular pigment in young, healthy subjects has been linked to the eye’s capacity to cope with glare, photostress recovery (time needed to recover sight following an intense light exposure), and other visual challenges.7 Supplementing the diet with L(lutein)+Z(Zeaxanthin)+MZ(Meso-Zeaxanthin) can improve visual performance and help counter such challenges.1,2,5  

In a clinical trial with 39 healthy subjects, aged 17-41 years and with no history of vision problems, each received 10 mg of L and 2 mg of Z per day, for 6 months.1 Visual performance under conditions of high glare and photostress (very high intensity light exposure) improved, and was significantly correlated with MP density increase, that is, with buildup of L+Z+MZ in the retina. Visual performance showed significant improvement by 4 months into the trial.

In another trial,2 121 healthy subjects aged 18-41 years were divided into a group that received 10 mg of L and 1 mg of Z per day (the active group), and a placebo group. Over the 12-month dosing period MP significantly increased. From self-scoring on a questionnaire, the L+Z group scored significantly better than placebo for night driving against oncoming headlights.

These researchers then further analyzed their data, to compare the one-third of active group  subjects who achieved the highest MP density at 12 months, against the one-third with the lowest MP density.2 The high-MP subgroup had 30% more improved contrast sensitivity under high glare, compared to the low-MP subgroup. On the questionnaire the high-MP subgroup reported significantly better capacity to deal with sudden changes in illumination (light/dark adaptation) than the low-MP subgroup.

The L+Z+MZ triad also helps protect the eye’s lens against sustaining damage from light energy as it concentrates light onto the retina. Findings from two meta-analyses (pooled analyses of data from multiple clinical trials) suggest that higher intakes of L and Z contribute to maintaining the lens structural integrity.3,4

Two leading vision researchers described L+Z+MZ as “analogous to internal sunglasses” that help counter glare discomfort and disability, shorten photostress recovery times, enhance color contrast, and increase visual range (how far one can see in the distance).5 They discussed just how these nutrients might help baseball players.

Looking into the bright sun outdoors, or bright overhead lights in an indoor stadium, can promote glare or cause photostress. Suspended particles in the air can create “blue haze” that impairs distance vision. These researchers reviewed the considerable evidence that blue-wavelength light, which is most responsible for these effects, is screened out by L+Z+MZ.5

Promotes Macular Health
The macula is the most central zone of the retina and consequently most directly exposed to light focused on it by the lens. Its MP content helps minimize blue haze and glare, which can degrade the image, while maximizing contrast sensitivity and light/dark adaptation. For the macula and the rest of the retina, the L+Z+MZ triad is a unique asset.18

The cells of the macula have extensive cell membrane networks with high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which renders these cells highly vulnerable to free radical attack.8,10 Further, their intense metabolic activity requires high oxygen levels, which amplifies the free radical threat. L+Z+MZ helps protect the macula and the entire vision system against this threat.18

The L+Z+MZ triad also makes for synergy—these nutrients’ combined protective actions surpass those of any one by itself.21 Their molecules can span the membrane’s entire width, allowing them both to intercept free radicals within the membrane and to help neutralize free radicals in the water-phase “cytoplasm” at the membrane’s edge.15

Supports the Eyes During Aging
Macular pigment density declines with age, beginning around age 60.22 Negative lifestyle factors such as cigarette smoking can exacerbate this decline.23 In a study of 484 subjects aged 18 to 70 years, smoking was significantly linked to loss of MP density. Subjects who had never smoked had significantly less MP loss than those who were current smokers.  

Retinal MP density has been linked to the eye’s lens in later life. A study of 376 individuals aged 18–75 years found that MP density was significantly correlated with the tissue density of the lens.24 For subjects older than 50 years, the higher their macular density the lower was their lens density. Low lens density is healthy because it allows light to pass freely through the lens without damaging the lens tissue itself. The researchers concluded that L and Z intake supports maintenance of healthy eye lenses with age. 

MZ may be more important for vision than previously assumed. Though supplementation with just L+Z can improve contrast sensitivity and light-dark adaptation,2 the total evidence strongly suggests that MZ is absolutely required for vision.6 Though rare or absent from most diets, MZ makes up fully one-third of the total macular pigment and its abundance at the very center of the macula is a clue to its importance.14

Evidence is growing that L and Z are also important for the brain. First, in-depth studies with monkeys established that the levels of L and Z in the brain can be accurately predicted from their levels in the macular pigment, and this prediction was extended to humans.9,11 From study of human brains it is clear that L and Z are concentrated in the brain’s visual cortex, which does initial processing of visual stimuli, in the motor cortex, which can generate movement in response to visual stimulation; and in the frontal cortex, which helps generate conscious response to visual stimulation.10

Supports the Brain and Brain-Eye Coordination
L and Z in the human brain may contribute to eye-brain coordination and “visuomotor” functions (visual and motor cortex coordination). In a study with healthy subjects aged 24-76 years, higher retinal MP density (and by extension, higher brain levels of L and Z) were significantly linked with faster visual-motor response time (time required to respond to an asterisk appearing on a screen).10 Higher MP was also significantly linked to longer “balance time” (length of time a subject could stand on one leg), a measure of motor function. 

Returning to the baseball analogy5: A batter with faster visual processing speed can “take more snapshots” of the pitch as it approaches home plate. With less than one-tenth of a second to decide on a 95-mph fastball, the added processing speed from higher daily intake of L+Z+MZ could be helpful to a hitter. This analogy has relevance for anyone wanting to optimize their vision, mind-body coordination or other skills.

Another study measured cognitive functions in older adults and correlated them with MP densities.11 For 24 subjects with some cognitive impairment, higher MP density was significantly related to better performance on the MMSE (Mini-Mental Status Examination), on the RBANS (Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status), and on specific tests of attention, language ability, and spatial-constructional ability. For 29 subjects without measurable cognitive impairment, higher MP was significantly linked to spatial-constructional ability.

There is preliminary evidence that supplementation with L+Z can improve cognition. In a double blind, placebo-controlled trial with healthy women aged 60–80 years,12 11 women were randomly allocated to receive L (12 mg per day) plus Z (about 0.5 mg per day), and 10 women received a placebo, for 4 months. The L+Z group scored higher than the placebo group on verbal fluency — ability to retrieve words from long-term memory in a short period of time. This positive result with small groups makes a case for larger, more in-depth trials with L and Z for brain health.

Lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin are vitamin-like nutrients important for vision, eye-brain coordination, and quality of life. Emotional, chemical, physical, and other stresses of modern living tend to deplete nutrients from the body and consequently increase daily nutritional requirements.25-27 Best Lutein Featuring Lutemax is sustainably produced from marigold flowers, and is a prudent dietary supplementation option considering that most Americans may be challenged to maintain adequate intakes of these carotenoids in their daily diet.

Scientific References

  1. Stringham JM, Hammond BR. Optometry Vis Sci 2008;85:82-88.
  2. Nolan JM, Loughman J, Akkali MC, others. Vision Res 2011;51:459-469.
  3. Cui YH, Jing CX, Pan HW. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:778-786.
  4. Liu X-H, Yu R-B, Liu R, others. Nutrients 2014;6:452-465.
  5. Hammond BR, Fletcher LM. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(suppl):1207S-1213S.
  6. Biesalski HK, Erdman JW Jr, Hathcock J, others. Eur J Nutr 2013;52:1-9.
  7. Hammond BR, Fletcher LM, Elliott JG. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54:476-481.
  8. Kidd PM. Best Natural Vision Enhancers Product Fact Sheet. 2014; San Clemente, CA,  USA: Doctor’s Best, Inc.,
  9. Vishwanathan R, Neuringer M, Snodderly DM, others. Nutr Neurosci 2013;16:11 pages.
  10. Renzi LM, Bovier ER, Hammond BR. Nutr Neurosci 2013;16:262-268.
  11. Renzi LM, Dengler MJ, Puente A, others. Neurobiol Aging 2014;35:1695-1699.
  12. Johnson EJ. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(suppl):1161S-1165S.
  13. Malinow MR, Feeney-Burns L, Peterson LH, others. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1980;19:857-863.
  14. Connolly EE, Beatty S, Loughman J, others. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2011;52:9207-9217.
  15. Subczynski WK, Wisniewska A, Widomska J. Arch Biochem Biophys 2010;504:61-66.
  16. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, others. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 2008;New York: Garland Science/Taylor and Francis.
  17. SanGiovanni JP, Neuringer M. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(suppl):1223S-1233S.
  18. Loskutova E, Nolan J, Howard A, Beatty S. Nutrients 2013;5:1962-1969.
  19. Li B, Vachali P, Bernstein PS. Photochem Photobiol Sci 2010;9:1418-1425.
  20. Johnson EJ, Chung H-Y, Caldarella SM, Snodderly DM. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87:1521-1529.
  21. Demmig-Adams B, Adams RB. Nutrients 2013;5:2483-2501.
  22. Lima VC, Rosen RB, Prata TS, others. Clinical Ophthalmol 2013;7:685-690.
  23. Kirby ML, Beatty S, Loane E, others. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2010;51:6722-6728.
  24. Berendschot TTJM, Broekmans WMR, Kloepping-Ketelaars IAA, others. Arch Ophthalmol 2002;120:1732-1737.
  25. Chakravarthy U, Wong TY, Fletcher A, others. BMC Ophthalmology 2010;10:31 (1-13).
  26. Kidd PM. Best NAC Detox Regulators Product Fact Sheet. 2013; San Clemente, CA,  USA: Doctor’s Best, Inc.,
  27. Kidd PM. Best Multiple Product Fact Sheet. 2013; San Clemente, CA, USA: Doctor’s Best, Inc.,

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