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Lutein Important Antioxidant for Eye Health

January 13th, 2010

Cartenoid Lutein

Lutein is the cartenoid found in Eye Health Formulas because of its antioxidant and cancer fighting abilities.  Cartenoids are naturally ocurring red or yellow pigments found in certain plants and animals.  Not only is it important to eat foods rich in Lutein, it is also important to supplement with one of the Eye Health Formulas on the market. 

Lutein intake has a direct relationship on the amount of pigmentation in the eye.  Studies have shown that you can decrease the chance of eye disease by increasing macular pigmentation.  (Macula refers to a small area at the back of the eye that helps us see fine details more clearly.)  So, by increasing  your intake of Lutein you may be able to increase your macular pigmentation, and in turn reduce the risk of eye disease. 

So what foods can you eat to increase the amount of Lutein you are putting into your body?  The word Lutein comes from Latin luteus meaning yellow, so you need to look for orange and yellow vegetables like squash, corn and carrots.  Lutein is also found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, also in eggs yolks, and some fruits.

As far as supplementing goes, positive effects have been seen after taking 6-10 mg of Lutein per day. The only possible side effect associated with adding extra Lutein to the diet is a slight orange coloring of the skin (carotenodermia) which is both reversible and harmless.  This rarely occurs when someone has taken high levels of the cartenoids beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, which are very hard to reach when properly using an over-the-counter supplement.  It is also recommended that you take Lutein with a meal to allow for better absorption. 

The top selling Lutein products at All Star Health are NOW Lutein Esters 20mg and Nature’s Way Ginkgold Eyes which also has 20mg of Lutein along with Bilberry, Ginkgold and Zeaxanthin.  It is important to figure out with your physician what your recommended intake should be, since it varies depending on intended use and other supplements that you may be taking.

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