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Accession NumberDB00137  (NUTR00036)
TypeSmall Molecule
GroupsApproved, Nutraceutical
DescriptionXanthophylls are yellow pigments from the carotenoid group that are widespread in nature. They are present in egg yolk, algae, and petals of yellow flowers, among other sources. The xanthophylls include lutein, zeaxanthin, neoxanthin, violaxanthin, and α- and β-cryptoxanthin, of which lutein is the primary ingested one.
SynonymsNot Available
External Identifiers Not Available
Approved Prescription ProductsNot Available
Approved Generic Prescription ProductsNot Available
Approved Over the Counter ProductsNot Available
Unapproved/Other Products Not Available
International BrandsNot Available
Brand mixturesNot Available
SaltsNot Available
CAS number127-40-2
WeightAverage: 568.8714
Monoisotopic: 568.428031036
Chemical FormulaC40H56O2
IndicationXanthophylls are taken for nutritional supplementation, and also for treating dietary shortage or imbalance.
Structured Indications Not Available
PharmacodynamicsLutein was found to be present in a concentrated area of the macula, a small area of the retina responsible for central vision. The hypothesis for the natural concentration is that lutein helps protect from oxidative stress and high-energy light. Several studies show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Mechanism of actionXanthophylls have antioxidant activity and react with active oxygen species, producing biologically active degradation products. They also can inhibit peroxidation of membrane phospholipids and reduce lipofuscin formation, both of which contribute to their antioxidant properties. Lutein is naturally present in the macula of the human retina. It filters out potentially phototoxic blue light and near-ultraviolet radiation from the macula. The protective effect is due in part, to the reactive oxygen species quenching ability of these carotenoids. Lutein is more stable to decomposition by pro-oxidants than are other carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. Lutein is abundant in the region surrounding the fovea, and lutein is the predominant pigment at the outermost periphery of the macula. Zeaxanthin, which is fully conjugated (lutein is not), may offer somewhat better protection than lutein against phototoxic damage caused by blue and near-ultraviolet light radiation. Lutein is one of only two carotenoids that have been identified in the human lens, may be protective against age-related increases in lens density and cataract formation. Again, the possible protection afforded by lutein may be accounted for, in part, by its reactive oxygen species scavenging abilities. Carotenoids also provide protection from cancer. One of the mechanisms of this is by increasing the expression of the protein connexin-43, thereby stimulating gap junctional communication and preventing unrestrained cell proliferation.
Related Articles
AbsorptionNot Available
Volume of distributionNot Available
Protein bindingNot Available
MetabolismNot Available
Route of eliminationNot Available
Half lifeNot Available
ClearanceNot Available
ToxicityNot Available
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
PathwaysNot Available
SNP Mediated EffectsNot Available
SNP Mediated Adverse Drug ReactionsNot Available
Drug InteractionsNot Available
Food InteractionsNot Available
Synthesis Reference

Helmut Auweter, Heribert Bohn, Erik Luddecke, “Stable, aqueous dispersions and stable, water-dispersible dry xanthophyll powder, their production and use.” U.S. Patent US6296877, issued September, 1994.

General References
  1. Namitha KK, Negi PS: Chemistry and biotechnology of carotenoids. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Sep;50(8):728-60. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2010.499811. [PubMed:20830634 ]
  2. Ma L, Lin XM: Effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on aspects of eye health. J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Jan 15;90(1):2-12. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.3785. [PubMed:20355006 ]
External Links
ATC CodesNot Available
AHFS CodesNot Available
PDB Entries
FDA labelNot Available
MSDSDownload (73.1 KB)
Predicted ADMET features
Human Intestinal Absorption+0.9972
Blood Brain Barrier+0.6588
Caco-2 permeable+0.7904
P-glycoprotein substrateSubstrate0.5199
P-glycoprotein inhibitor IInhibitor0.5819
P-glycoprotein inhibitor IINon-inhibitor0.8202
Renal organic cation transporterNon-inhibitor0.876
CYP450 2C9 substrateNon-substrate0.8299
CYP450 2D6 substrateNon-substrate0.8408
CYP450 3A4 substrateSubstrate0.6607
CYP450 1A2 substrateNon-inhibitor0.9079
CYP450 2C9 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.7723
CYP450 2D6 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.9368
CYP450 2C19 inhibitorInhibitor0.5225
CYP450 3A4 inhibitorNon-inhibitor0.8808
CYP450 inhibitory promiscuityLow CYP Inhibitory Promiscuity0.6267
Ames testNon AMES toxic0.8391
BiodegradationNot ready biodegradable0.9655
Rat acute toxicity2.5006 LD50, mol/kg Not applicable
hERG inhibition (predictor I)Weak inhibitor0.9273
hERG inhibition (predictor II)Non-inhibitor0.8259
ADMET data is predicted using admetSAR, a free tool for evaluating chemical ADMET properties. (23092397 )
ManufacturersNot Available
PackagersNot Available
Dosage formsNot Available
PricesNot Available
PatentsNot Available
Experimental Properties
melting point196 °CPhysProp
water solubilityInsolubleNot Available
logP7.9Not Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.000732 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)18.22ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-0.91ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area40.46 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count10ChemAxon
Refractivity195.06 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability72.79 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings2ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Mass Spec (NIST)Not Available
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, NegativeNot Available
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as xanthophylls. These are carotenoids containing an oxygenated carotene backbone. Carotenes are characterized by the presence of two end-groups (mostly cyclohexene rings, but also cyclopentene rings or acyclic groups) linked by a long branched alkyl chain. Carotenes belonging form a subgroup of the carotenoids family. Xanthophylls arise by oxygenation of the carotene backbone.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassPrenol lipids
Sub ClassTetraterpenoids
Direct ParentXanthophylls
Alternative Parents
  • Xanthophyll
  • Cyclic alcohol
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic homomonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homomonocyclic compounds
External DescriptorsNot Available


Pharmacological action
General Function:
Toxic substance binding
Specific Function:
Serum albumin, the main protein of plasma, has a good binding capacity for water, Ca(2+), Na(+), K(+), fatty acids, hormones, bilirubin and drugs. Its main function is the regulation of the colloidal osmotic pressure of blood. Major zinc transporter in plasma, typically binds about 80% of all plasma zinc.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
69365.94 Da
  1. Zsila F, Nadolski G, Lockwood SF: Association studies of aggregated aqueous lutein diphosphate with human serum albumin and alpha1-acid glycoprotein in vitro: evidence from circular dichroism and electronic absorption spectroscopy. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2006 Jul 15;16(14):3797-801. Epub 2006 May 5. [PubMed:16678417 ]
  2. Yemelyanov AY, Katz NB, Bernstein PS: Ligand-binding characterization of xanthophyll carotenoids to solubilized membrane proteins derived from human retina. Exp Eye Res. 2001 Apr;72(4):381-92. [PubMed:11273666 ]
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Drug created on June 13, 2005 07:24 / Updated on August 17, 2016 12:23