Sunday, June 3, 2012

Introduction

Lutein  is a carotenoid, meaning a natural colorant or pigment, found in dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, plus various fruits and corn. Egg yolks are also sources of lutein.
Lutein provides nutritional support to our eyes and skin – the only organs of the body directly exposed to the outside environment.  Lutein has been linked to promoting healthy eyes through reducing the risk of macular degeneration.**  Other studies suggest that a mixture of nutrients, including lutein, may provide supplemental antioxidant capacity to the skin, helping counteract free radical damage.
Why is lutein important in our diet? Simply put, lutein is an antioxidant that appears to quench or reduce harmful free radicals in various parts of the body.** Free radicals can play a role in a variety of chronic diseases.
Lutein also filters the high-energy, blue wavelengths of light from the visible-light spectrum by as much as 90%.  Blue light, in both indoor lighting and sunlight, is believed to induce oxidative stress and possible free-radical damage in human organs exposed to light, such as the eyes and skin. Blue light is not the same as the commonly known ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B wavelengths of the invisible spectrum.
How much lutein do we need?  Research suggests a minimum of 6-10 mg per day of lutein from dark green leafy vegetables and other sources is necessary to realize lutein’s health benefits.  Even if you eat a balanced diet, you’d need a large bowl of fresh spinach to get about 6 mg of lutein.  Most Americans just don’t consume enough foods rich in lutein.  Lutein is widely available in a variety of nutritional supplements and fortified foods and beverages for people wanting to supplement their dietary intake of lutein, making their diet even better for their eyes and skin.
The LIB is also not aware of any adverse health reports from interactions between lutein and medications. However, the surest way to learn about possible interactions between your medication and any supplements is to consult your doctor before beginning such a regimen. The same is true for lutein.
We hope you find this site useful in learning much more about this amazing molecule with big health benefits…LUTEIN!

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