Olive and Coconut Oils May Boost Antioxidant Absorption
A new study has found that olive and coconut oils improve the intestinal absorption of lutein in mice. Lutein is an important antioxidant that may protect against eye diseases such as macular degeneration in humans. Published in Food Research International, the study involved feeding lutein to lutein-deficient mice in combination with either olive oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, corn oil, palm oil, or fish oil. When compared to the control group, the levels of lutein were the highest in the olive oil (82%) and coconut oil (68%) group. While every type of oil increased intestinal lutein levels, olive oil and coconut oil had the greatest effect by boosting lutein levels in the intestines, liver, and eyes of the mice by over 100%. This study is important because it suggests improved delivery methods to boost the amount of lutein in humans.