Lutein is a pigment that belongs to the group of carotenoids. In green plants, xanthophylls help to modulate light energy during photosynthesis. It functions well with another carotenoid called zeaxanthin in our body. (1)
Like other carotenoids, Lutein is fat-soluble, and cooking does not change its structure and effectiveness. So consuming foods with a high nutritional value of Lutein ensures that it reaches the bloodstream and functions as an antioxidant to maintain body health. (3)
Carotenoid is mainly found in high contents in green leafy like spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and kale; and yellow-orange vegetables. (3) These vegetables are classified as major carotenoid supplements. It is synthesized only by plants. Lutein is the pigment responsible for imparting the red, yellow and orange colours in fruits, vegetables and other plants. (2)
Beneficial in Eye Health
Lutein is essential for maintaining eye health and reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. It is found in the natural state of the macula of the eye. With ageing, eye-related issues and long term vision may be affected due to decreased lutein levels. In such cases, lutein supplements help protect the vision cells from the harsh effects of blue light and UV rays. (1)
Lutein’s primary nutrient activity is concentrated in the eyes. (2) The carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are found in the macula region of the eye in the human body; and is responsible for maintaining the central vision. (2) As an antioxidant, Lutein’s role is to lower the activity of the free radicals, which can cause damage to the macula and other parts of the eye. The carotenoid zeaxanthin helps to absorb the harmful and high energy blue light. Thus, these pigments help to protect central vision and eye health. An optimal dosage of lutein will facilitate eye health and prevent conditions such as macular degeneration and cataract. Adequate lutein in the diet may have far-reaching benefits such as preventing blindness. (3)
Additional Health Benefits of Lutein
Primarily, lutein is essential for maintaining eye health and reducing the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. It may also have protective effects on our skin and cardiovascular system.
- Protects Men’s Health – Lutein administered as a supplement equates to 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables to supply the lutein need. Carotenoids like lutein are potent antioxidants and work to support prostate health. In turn, this helps to reduce the oxidative stress in the urinary tract.
- Hormone Support – Hormones are essential for optimal muscle, reproductive and cognitive health. Lutein helps to support the healthy hormone levels in the body.
- Heart Health – Lutein also aids in protecting the heart by promoting healthy cholesterols to enhance arterial health, optimal blood pressure level, and proper blood circulation. Lutein protects the heart from
- the occasional oxidative stress.
- Skin Health – Environmental threats such as pollution, dry climate, and others may cause oxidative stress on the skin cells. Then, lutein supports healthy skin cell ageing with its antioxidant properties. (3)
Administration and Side Effects
The recommended intake of Lutein for adults is 15 to 40 milligrams per day for optimal health. But on average, an adult consumes only 2 milligrams per day; hence the need for a Dietary supplement becomes a priority.
It is ideal to consume Lutein as a part of the diet by a healthy intake of yellow, red and orange foods. Excessive intake of lutein more than the recommended dose may result in potential yellowing of the skin and formation of crystals in the eye. Correct dosages restore the condition.
Lutein is an essential nutrient for maintaining optimal health of the skin, heart, prostate and urinary tract in males, particularly eye health with advancing age. Lutein is also available as a supplement. So, lutein levels should be prudently managed by taking healthy diets with lutein-rich foods. (3)
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Shubham Pharmachem’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical teams strive to provide relevant information through such articles. We strongly advise readers to not consume or administer any medication without prior consultation with their doctor.