July 19 2021
Lutein is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are types of pigments that are present in leafy greens and yellow vegetables. Lutein is most commonly known to benefit eye health as it plays an important role in decreasing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidant properties of lutein also protect various organs in the body, such as the skin, cardiovascular system, kidneys, and urinary bladder.
As other carotenoids, lutein is a fat-soluble compound. Lutein is absorbed along with good fats like olive oil. Cooking foods occasionally reduce the power of the ingredients, but this is not the case with lutein. Cooking foods that are rich in levels of lutein increases the strength of the nutrients when they reach the bloodstream instead of weakening it. The major sources of lutein are Spinach, Kale, Carrots, Broccoli, Red and yellow peppers, Sweet corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Asparagus. Whether consumed in raw or cooked form, foods that are rich in lutein help in protecting against free radicals that can damage tissues and organs.
Health Benefits of Lutein
As a large number of diets today miss regular servings of essential fruits and vegetables, the need for lutein supplements has become a necessity. The Dietary supplements of lutein, as well as foods that contain lutein, are effective in providing a host of health benefits such as:
Lutein is naturally present in the eye, mainly in the macula. It is responsible for inhibiting the effects of visible blue light, which is one of the main causative factors of light-induced eye damage. Lutein helps in protecting the eyes as it filters the negative effects of damage-inducing short-wavelength ultraviolet light that affects the functioning of the delicate parts of the eyes, such as the retina and the macula. The dietary intake of zeaxanthin and lutein along with other natural antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, are known to significantly decrease the risk of developing cataracts in the eyes.
With advances in age, the levels of lutein get depleted naturally, which is the reason for the onset of age-related macular degeneration. If left untreated, it can cause loss of vision. The progressive loss of vision can be prevented by maintaining healthy levels of lutein around the eye. Regular intake of lutein in adequate amounts is also associated with the prevention of eye fatigue. It supports visual acuity and strengthens the eye tissue.
The antioxidant properties of lutein enable it to provide adequate protection for the skin. Diets rich in lutein have been associated with a reduced risk of skin damage and skin inflammation that occurs as a result of exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Regular lutein intake also improves the skin tone and protects against premature aging.
Urinary tract infections are commonly occurring conditions among men and women. They can easily spread throughout the urinary tract if left untreated. Infections that reach the bladder can cause bladder inflammation which is known as cystitis. They help in preventing free radical damage because of their antioxidant properties. Inflammation caused by any kind of infection triggers oxidative damage. Carotenoids like lutein can prevent this damage because they prevent the development of abnormal cells.
Because of its strong antioxidant properties, lutein can protect the heart from oxidative damage. The deficiency of lutein within the blood might cause the thickening of arterial walls in the heart. This increases the risk of developing arteriosclerosis and clogging of the carotid arteries which may cause heart attacks. Clogged arteries occur as a result of poor diet, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. They can in turn cause atherosclerosis, heart attack, or stroke. Intake of lutein can reduce the thickness of the carotid arteries and prevent its blockage.
Lutein also helps in the prevention of interaction between cholesterol and monocytes, thereby reducing the risk of plaque formation.
This occurs due to the accumulation of large quantities of free radicals. Lutein serum treatment effectively scavenges and removes the toxic reactive molecules thereby kidney damage from these medications is reduced.
The testosterone levels in the body can fall due to aging and obesity. These can adversely affect muscle mass, cognitive performance, and sexual function. Uncontrolled diabetes causes obesity and reduced testosterone levels, especially in older men. Lutein helps in increasing testosterone levels, which is effective in preventing diabetes and its complications.
The two major carotenoids found in human milk are lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds are needed for the visual and cognitive development of infants When fed with human milk rather than formula, the levels of lutein and zeaxanthin are found to increase.
Improves Brain Health
Lutein helps in supporting the proper functioning of the brain. Studies also show that it enhances the process of learning and memory. Lutein is present as a dominant carotenoid in the brain. It plays a major role in regulating neural functions and visual processing. Taking Alviza one daily multivitamin supplement that contains lutein helps in strengthening the brain.