A study measuring the levels of the six most common carotenoids in blood from 193 patients with coronary artery disease has found that lutein was the only carotenoid whose level was correlated with the inflammatory marker interleukin-6, IL-6. The higher the level of lutein in the blood, the lower the level of IL-6.
Cells taken from blood from patients with coronary artery disease confirmed that the inflammatory activity of the cells became significantly lower when they were treated with lutein.
Lutein is found in several highly coloured vegetables and fruits, and is particularly rich in vegetables with dark-green leaves, such as spinach.
Chung, Rosanna W.S., Leanderson, Per, Lundberg, Anna K, Jonasson, Lena. 2017. Lutein exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis, 262, 87-93, published online 6 May 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.05.008