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The Essential Lutein

Posted Jan 31 2013 11:00am

Kale Seeing is believing. The old saying says it all, and no much needs to be added to emphasize how important our vision really is. We should always take care of our eyes and lutein is an essential part of this maintenance.

Lutein is a carotenoid vitamin related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. Many people consider lutein as “the eye vitamin” and studies have shown that it may prevent eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa. Some people also use lutein for preventing colon cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.  Lutein is one of two major carotenoids found as a color pigment in the human eye (macula and retina). It is thought to function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage.

Consuming lutein as part of the diet might help to prevent AMD. Lutein can be obtained from foods and good sources include kale, broccoli, spinach, corn, orange pepper, kiwi fruit, grapes, orange juice, zucchini, and squash. Lutein is absorbed best when it is taken with a high-fat meal.

In addition, taking lutein supplements (10 mg per day for 12 months) might help decrease symptoms of AMD, but more research is needed. A good number of multivitamins contain lutein but usually providing a relatively small amount of 0.25 mg per tablet. Lutein is likely safe for most people.

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