Lutein – More Than Just For the Eyes

If you read much about natural ways to improve your health, then you have undoubtedly heard about the health benefits of Lutein. It seems to be the next fad in natural health circles. However, most of the information about it revolves around its ability to improve eye health. Let’s take a look at lutein and see what we can learn.

Lutein is one of over 600 carotenoids found in nature but it is one of only two found in the human eye. The other is zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are the red, orange and yellow pigments that are found in green leafy and orange vegetables. They are also found in egg yolks.

It is believed that lutein protects the macula of the eye from damage caused by blue spectrum light. As we age, its levels in the eye decrease substantially along with the levels of zeaxanthin. This appears to lead Age-related Macular Degeneration. Studies have shown that increasing the intake of both lutein and zeaxanthin can slow down or prevent the onset of AMD, but don’t get the idea that this is the only benefit of carotenoids to the human body.

Some of the other potential benefits of carotenoids on your health include:

1. Protect against the development of skin cancer by providing protection from UV-A and UV-B rays of the sun.
2. Oral supplementation of these two carotenoids improves skin health by increasing moisture content and elasticity.
3. Inhibit hardening of the arteries, improving the health of the circulatory system.

In addition to the eyes, lutein is found in the blood, brain, skin and breast tissues.

The most effective way to increase the amount of carotenoids in your body is through the food you eat. If you are like me though, you probably are not getting enough of the vegetables that have high concentrations of these nutrients.

One thing that stood out in many studies is that oral health supplements were effective in providing the additional amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin that the body requires. However, before you rush out and buy zeaxanthin or lutein supplements there are a couple things you should be aware of.

First of all, when considering products that state they contain these two ingredients, check the quantities. A disturbing trend that I have noticed is that many companies include a small, ineffective amount just so they can state on the label that they are included in the supplement. The minimum amount for lutein should be 10 mg. while you will need at least 4 mg. of zeaxanthin.

Secondly, don’t bother with supplements designed just to address just one area of health concern, such as the eyes. You will typically end up paying much more than you need to for what you get. A multi-nutrient formula is a much better choice. Look for all natural, broad spectrum, multi-vitamins. These are the easiest for the body to assimilate making them much more effective.

Carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to improve many areas of health. Since most of us are not getting the amounts that we need through our diet, it is critical that we obtain them through some form of supplementation. Look for an all natural multi vitamin with high enough quantities to improve your health. You’ll feel the difference.

David M. Johnson has been studying health and nutrition for over 10 years as he has dealt with mood, attention, and various health issues in his own life and family. Visit his website now for more information on powerful ways to improve your health and to discover the cutting edge nutritional products he personally uses and recommends after extensive research: []

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