What are the Potential Health Benefits of Lutein?
- Protects the eyes from disorders
- Reduces diabetes risk
- Supports skin health
- Lowers cancer risk
- Protects heart health
- Important antioxidant
Lutein is usually associated with eye health. However, this carotenoid has other health benefits. Let us learn more about them.
Yes, it is true that lutein plays an important role in your optical health. Primarily, it protects your eyes from disorders, such as macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an ailment that causes blindness.
By filtering out the harmful UV light, lutein protects the retina or macula. A research done by Harvard University concluded that daily lutein supplementation can reduce macular degeneration risk. (1)
Also, a higher amount of lutein and zeaxanthin, along with other antioxidants, can reduce the chance of cataract formation. Moreover, lutein supplementation thrice a week for two years can improve vision in cataract patients. (1)
Another benefit associated with lutein is the lowered risk of diabetes.
Some animal studies focused on the effects of higher carotenoid levels in the blood. These are linked to reduced risk for diabetes and fewer problems regulating blood sugar.
In 2009, a study was done on diabetic rats. It found out that lutein and DHA supplementation aided in normalising diabetes-triggered biochemical modifications. (1)
The result also showed that the rats taking the supplementation had lower oxidative stress. The damage to their eyes’ retina was also lesser.
Lutein is also known to protect the skin. It is because this carotenoid is also present in the skin.
In order to keep the skin healthy and prevent skin cancer, lutein lowers oxidative stress rate. It happens as the carotenoid helps in filtering visible light’s high-energy wavelengths.
Animal studies proved that lutein helps protect the skin from light-induced damages. These are actually symptoms of aging and might be even signs of skin cancer. (1)
Talking about cancer, lutein is thought to potentially help prevent cancer. It is believed to lower the risk of such illness.
Research showed that getting more lutein from foods resulted in lower rates of cancers. Specifically, it helped avoid lung, cervical, colon, and breast cancers.
It is still unknown how cancer formation and lutein are linked. However, studies showed that adults with higher lutein levels in the blood had a reduced risk of cancer development.
One 2018 study even concluded that dietary lutein supplementation may be an alternative treatment against breast cancer. (1)
What is more, lutein is good for your heart.
Some studies observed how xanthophyll carotenoids, like lutein, could affect cardiovascular health. It was discovered that they can decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease development. (1)
The University of Southern California conducted studies on lutein’s effect on the heart. It revealed that low lutein levels in the blood could lead to artery wall thickening. It may lead to the development of arteriosclerosis and carotid artery-clogging, resulting in heart attacks. (1)
Last, but not least, lutein is a powerful antioxidant. It can protect your body from free radicals.
Specifically, lutein can protect the eyes from the harm caused by free radicals. As carotenoids fight off these free radicals, eye cells will be protected from damage. (1)
Definitely, lutein is an important substance that our body needs. Supplementing with it can help you protect your eyes and overall health. However, before using any product, tell your doctor about it first.
What is Lutein?
Lutein is part of the carotene family. It belongs to the same group with beta carotene. This carotenoid is naturally available in foods.
This carotenoid is a potent antioxidant. Many of its health benefits are associated with it. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you supplement with it daily.
How Does Lutein Work?
Lutein is a type of carotenoid. It acts as a colour pigment in the eyes. Its main function is to protect the eye tissues from damage caused by sunlight. It also works as a light filter.
Moreover, lutein is an antioxidant that fights off free radicals. This helps protect the eyes and skin from oxidative damage.
How Do I Take Lutein?
You can find foods that are rich in lutein. It is advisable that you eat them to increase your nutrient intake. Foods with lutein include egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, and corn.
However, it is not always guaranteed that you get enough lutein from these foods. For this reason, it is advisable that you take lutein health supplements. You can find them in health food stores or even online.
Based on research, you can safely take lutein up to 15 mg per day until two years. Health professionals also claim that consuming up to 20 mg lutein (from foods and supplements) is safe.
Can I Take Lutein Along with Vitamins and Medicines?
As of now, there are no reported cases about lutein’s interaction with other supplements or drugs. More studies must be done to find out if there are some.
In case you are taking any regular medication, get your doctor’s advice before supplementation. The dosage of your medicine or that of the supplement might need to be adjusted.
Is Lutein Safe?
Lutein supplementation is likely safe when administered orally in appropriate amounts.
Just take note that high dosages of lutein could cause carotenemia. This condition is the yellowing of the skin, but it is harmless.
People with conditions, like cystic fibrosis or skin cancer, must be cautious when taking this supplement. It is necessary that you talk to your doctor before using any kind of supplement regularly.
Furthermore, please understand that there are some dietary supplements that have not been regulated by the FDA. There are instances when some products deliver dosages that are different from specified amounts for the ingredient.
Also, the safety of lutein supplements in children, breastfeeding, and pregnant women has not been established.
Therefore, it is important to choose a product from a trusted company.
How Will Lutein Benefit Me?
Lutein is not only good for your eyes, but even for your skin, heart, and overall being. It can help protect you from serious illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
For dietary supplements that contain lutein and other carotenoids, check out our website.