Lutein enhances eyesight

Lutein is an antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid class with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties that protect your body against free radicals and oxidative stress.

Lutein helps prevent and improve age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, dry eye disease, uveitis. Let’s learn about the benefits that lutein brings us with!

What is Lutein?

Lutein is one of the antioxidants belonging to the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, found in the cells of many plants and responsible for their vibrant colors such as magenta, orange, yellow, or other colors of plants. different types of fruits and vegetables. These pigments not only play an important role in plant health, they also provide health benefits to those who consume them.

Like zeaxanthin, lutein has a similar structure and is an important carotenoid that can protect the body and especially benefit eye health and vision. Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in the retina and are concentrated mainly in the macula, located at the back of the eye. Therefore, these two types of carotenoids are called macular pigments.

Lutein benefits and dosages

Lutein benefits and dosages

Lutein helps protect eyes against myopia and premature babies against the effects of retinopathy.

When used together in a certain amount, lutein works better and is more effective when combined with zeaxanthin. Lutein dosages are considered safe even at high levels. Depending on how much stress your body is under and your weight, the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin your body needs will vary. Specifically:

  • Smokers will need more lutein and zeaxanthin because the amount of carotenoids in the body is lower than non-smokers.
  • 1 kg of body weight using 1 mg of lutein and 0.75 mg of zeaxanthin daily is considered safe.
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Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that help protect our bodies against unstable molecules called free radicals. An excess of free radicals can damage cells, accelerate aging and lead to the progression of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The antioxidant properties protect against free radicals and oxidative stress, reduce the effects of bad LDL cholesterol, reduce plaque build-up in the arteries, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, lutein and zeaxanthin protect your body’s proteins, fats, and DNA from stressors. At the same time, recycling glutathione is another important antioxidant in the body.

These two antioxidants also have a big impact on our eye health. The eyes when exposed to oxygen and light will promote the production of harmful oxygen free radicals. These two types of carotenoids eliminate free radicals and prevent them from damaging eye cells, protecting our eyes from the damaging effects of free radicals. When you take 6 – 20 mg of lutein in your diet each day, it has been linked to a reduced risk of eye diseases such as:

  • Prevent inflammation
  • Enhance vision sharpness, improve visual contrast sensitivity, reduce glare.
  • Protect our eye tissue from the harmful effects of sunlight, harmful blue light.
  • Protects eyes against myopia and protects premature babies from the effects of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
  • Assists the eye in converting light signals into electrical signals in the retina and transmitting those signals to the visual cortex in the brain.

In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin also improve eye conditions such as:

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): In developed countries, AMD is the leading cause of blindness and permanent vision impairment. Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against the progression of late-stage AMD leading to blindness. Research shows that a combination of 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin is effective in reducing the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Diabetic retinopathy: It is a disease that affects about one-third of people with diabetes. Lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce markers of oxidative stress that cause eye damage and vision loss.
  • Cataract: A condition in which cloudy patches develop in the lens of the eye. People who eat a diet low in lutein and zeaxanthin may have a higher risk of cataracts.
  • Dry eye disease: Also known as dry eye syndrome. Lutein helps correct a condition that causes redness, itching, burning, temporary blurred vision, and a feeling of sand in the eye because the eye doesn’t make enough oil to coat it.
  • Uveitis: Lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce inflammation in the middle layer of the eye caused by the disease.
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In addition to their outstanding eye-protective benefits, these two carotenoids can also protect your skin. Their antioxidant effects allow them to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, helping to ward off premature aging and tumors caused by UVB rays. One study found that people with mild to moderate dry skin who consumed 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily experienced significant improvements in skin tone and vitality.

Food sources of lutein

Food sources of lutein

Foods that provide lutein include: kale, broccoli, red peppers, pistachios, squash, grapes, wheat

Many foods provide healthy doses of lutein. Lutein is found in greater amounts in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, parsley, basil, leeks, peas, etc. Kale is one of the richest sources of lutein, each gram of kale provides 48 – 115 mcg, many times higher than a carrot which can only contain 2.5 – 5.1 mcg. Lutein can also be found in other foods such as egg yolks, red peppers, corn, durum wheat, pistachios, orange juice, honeydew melon, kiwi, red peppers, squash, and grapes.

Lutein is best absorbed when taken with foods high in fat, which helps increase absorption of these nutrients. In addition to getting lutein with your diet, you can also increase your lutein intake with supplements. Lutein supplements are usually derived from marigold flowers and mixed with oils or are made synthetically.

Lutein can be combined with a number of other nutrients to help support eye health. Consists of:

  • Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that helps regenerate other antioxidants in the body, fights free radicals, and supports the integrity of the blood vessels and connective tissue of the eyes.
  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that works with lutein to protect your retinal cells from oxidation.
  • Zinc is an essential nutrient that your body cannot make or store. Zinc plays an important role in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce a protective eye pigment melanin.
  • Essential fatty acids: Your retinas have high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an important omega-3 fatty acid that can help protect vision, soothe dry eyes and inflammation of the eyelids.
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Side effects

Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements have great safety for us and have almost no side effects on the body. The only side effect that has been identified with long-term consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin is jaundice, which is not harmful to health.

In Vietnam, lutein is very popular and easy to find in stores, pharmacies, and supermarkets. You should choose reputable sales places to ensure origin, quality, efficiency and safety when using!

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