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New Research Shows Lutein Is Associated With Improved Learning In Children

New research shows lutein may help improve your child’s academic performance.

Child with hat on
Sep 11 2017

Your child’s eyes may hold the key to their future.

Lutein, a key nutrient compound that can be measured by looking in a child’s eyes, has long been linked to improved eye health. Now, two new first-of-their-kind studies from University of Illinois and Abbott at the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory reveal that children with higher lutein levels in the eye tend to do better on tests of cognition and academic achievement, even after accounting for other factors known to influence academic performance such as IQ, gender, body composition and physical fitness.

What the studies found
In the first study, reported in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, Abbott and University of Illinois researchers found that, when performing challenging cognitive tasks, children who had higher lutein levels (yes, the scientists measured the levels by looking into their eyes!) performed better.

Meanwhile, the second study, published in Nutritional Neuroscience, found that higher lutein levels in children were associated with higher scores on standardized academic tests.

What it means
These studies show that higher lutein levels in children are associated with academic achievement; and while the studies do not prove that lutein is the cause of improved cognition in children, researchers add to the body of research showing a tight link between lutein and cognition.

To increase your child’s lutein levels, Matt Kuchan, PhD, a discovery scientist and the global lead for Abbott’s partnership with the Center for Nutrition, Learning and Memory, recommends incorporating lutein-rich foods such as spinach, kale, avocado, and eggs into your child’s meals. Bonus: Doing so early on may help your child develop a taste for these healthy foods that lasts for decades to come.

Kuchan notes that this research is part of Abbott’s continued effort to understand the role of nutrition on childhood cognition.

To learn more about how the right nutrition can boost brain health for you and your whole family, read more here: