Lutein is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family - naturally-occurring fat-soluble pigments found in plants. It is the primary carotenoid present in the central area of the retina called the macula and has been linked with protection from age-related macular degeneration. Lutein works best together with zeaxanthin, another antioxidant found in the same foods and supplements.
Beta-Carotene, a natural substance from plants that the body can convert into vitamin A, acts as an antioxidant and immune system booster as well as helping to protect against sun damage, especially when combined with vitamin E. Other members of the antioxidant carotene family include cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene. Vitamin A converted from beta-carotene is essential for the eye tissue. Impaired adaptation and poor vision are often found in people with low vitamin A status.