Lutein is a carotenoid and it has antioxidant effects. Lutein may have a protective effect on ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury induced by free radical species. However, little is known about the protective effect of lutein on I/R injury in vivo. The present study was undertaken to clarify the protective effects of lutein on I/R injuries in the rat small intestine. Administration of lutein before intestinal I/R attenuated the damage to villi and deciduation of enterocytes and suppressed the increase in lipid peroxide.