Health & Well-Being A-Z



Zeaxanthin is a type of organic pigment called a carotenoid. It's related to vitamin A and found in the human eye (macula and retina) along with lutein.

Zeaxanthin is thought to function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage. Foods rich in zeaxanthin include eggs, oranges, grapes, corn, goji berries, mango, orange pepper, and some other vegetables and fruits.

People use zeaxanthin for age-related vision loss. It's also used for eye strain, mental decline, heart disease, breast cancer, cataracts, and many other conditions, but there's no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Is It Effective?

Effectiveness header

NatMed Pro rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly effective
  • An eye disease that leads to vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration or AMD). Taking zeaxanthin by mouth as part of a combination product that also contains lutein seems to help improve vision in people with AMD. But it's not clear if taking zeaxanthin without lutein helps.

There is interest in using zeaxanthin for a number of other purposes, but there isn't enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.

Is it Safe?


When taken by mouth: Zeaxanthin is likely safe when used in doses up to 2 mg daily. It is possibly safe when taken in larger doses. Doses up to 10 mg daily seem to be safe when used for up to 1 year.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Zeaxanthin is commonly consumed in foods. There isn't enough reliable information to know if zeaxanthin is safe to use as medicine while pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Children: Zeaxanthin is possibly safe when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts. A specific product (LUTEINofta, SOOFT Italia SpA) containing zeaxanthin 0.0006 mg daily has been safely used in infants for 36 weeks.

Drug interactions

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Zeaxanthin might lower blood sugar levels. Taking zeaxanthin along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.

Herb interactions

Herbs and supplements that might lower blood sugar: Zeaxanthin might lower blood sugar. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might lower blood sugar too much. Examples of supplements with this effect include aloe, bitter melon, cassia cinnamon, chromium, and prickly pear cactus.

Food interactions

Zeaxanthin is better absorbed by the body when it is taken with a high-fat meal.


Zeaxanthin is found in many foods, with orange pepper being the richest source. Other sources include egg yolks, corn, red grapes, oranges, honeydew melon, and mango.

Zeaxanthin is also taken in supplements, typically along with lutein. It's most often been used by adults in doses of 2 mg by mouth daily, for up to 4.8 years. Zeaxanthin is absorbed best when it's taken with a high-fat meal. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product or dose might be best for a specific condition.

Other names

3,3'-Dihydroxy-beta-carotene, (3R,3'R)-Beta,beta-carotene-3,3'-diol, (3R, 3'R)-Zeaxanthin, (3R,3'S)-Beta,beta-carotene-3,3'- diol, (3R, 3'S)-Zeaxanthin, (3S,3'S)-Beta,beta-carotene-3,3'- diol, (3S, 3'S)-Zeaxanthin, 13-Cis-Zeaxanthin, All-E-Zeaxanthin, All-Trans-Zeaxanthin, Meso-Zeaxanthin, RR-Zeaxanthin, SS-Zeaxanthin.


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