and zeaxanthin belong to the class of carotenoids known as
xanthophylls and both contain hydroxyl groups. This makes
them more polar than carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and
lycopene, which do not contain oxygen. Although lutein and
zeaxanthin have identical chemical formulas and are isomers,
they are not stereoisomers. They are both polyisoprenoids
containing 40 carbon atoms and cyclic structures at each end
of their conjugated chains. The main difference between them
is in the location of a double bond in one of the end rings
giving lutein three chiral centers as opposed to two in zeaxanthin
(see structure below).. .
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