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Lutein (loo-teen) is a naturally occurring carotenoid that provides the yellow color in certain foods and plants. It can be found in a variety of vegetables such as corn, orange pepper, spinach and more as well as in animal fat and egg yolk. Lutein is a vitamin as well.
Lutein is an essential vitamin because the body does not product it on its own. You must get your lutein from food sources or from supplements.
In the human body lutein is located in the eye and is a color tincture. Lutein acts as a filter on the eye to prevent damage from the sun. This occurs because lutein filters blue wavelengths of light from the sun. Blue light is one of the more dangerous light spectrums produced by the sun.
A deficiency of lutein can lead to macular degeneration, especially age related macular degeneration. The good news is that lutein has actually been studied for its benefits to protect against macular degeneration and the results were every positive in terms of using supplements for prevention.
In this case the study was 6 years long and was conducted by the National Eye Institute in Maryland.
Most people do not get their daily recommended amount of lutein each day from the foods that they eat. The suggested minimum is 6 to 10 mg per day. You can get the most lutein from dark green veggies as well as many yellow veggies and even orange juice. However, if you can’t (or wont) get lutein from your diet, then a supplement is an excellent alternative to good nutrition.
In studies, lutein is beneficial for healthy eyes. Not only does it prevent blindness as you age but it may also provide a health benefit for the skin by preventing too much absorption of the blue spectrum of light from the sun.
In the case of the skin, lutein is only beneficial when combined with other nutrients. However, once this occurs the skin suffers less from free radical damage when exposed to the sun.
Think about it this way. When you sunbathe or tan, you are exposing your skin to the blue color spectrum from the sun. This causes free radical damage which can lead to skin cancer. With sun screen you can limit this occurrence, but by adding lutein supplements, combined with other skin protective nutrients, you can reduce the risk of skin cancer even further.
Lutein is one of the few supplements that has been reviewed and recommended by the FDA. This doesn’t mean that every supplement containing lutein is approved by the FDA; only that lutein itself has been proven to help the eyes in an FDA approved study. You can find the study published online and even read the FDA findings.
The good news is that in studies lutein had no side effects. There were not studies conducted to determine whether or not lutein will interact with any medications. For this reason it is important that you talk with your doctor before you take a lutein supplement if you are taking any medications or are ill.
In addition, lutein has been tested on pregnant women with no adverse side effects on mother or fetus. Regardless, talking to your doctor before taking a lutein supplement will ensure that your doctor is aware of everything that involves your health.
You should never assume that taking a supplement is safe simply because it is natural. You should always discuss anything you are taking with your doctor when you are taking medications or have a medical condition.
If you buy a lutein supplement that is combined with other nutrients, vitamins, herbs, berries, etc., then you need to check the possible side effects and interactions for each of the ingredients to ensure that they don’t interact with what you are taking or won’t affect your pregnancy, if applicable.
Lutien should be taken by mouth once a day. Lutien is most beneficial when taken with foods high in fat; for some reason the fat helps in the absorption process. The smallest dose you should take is 6 mg in order to benefit from taking supplements.
You can find lutein products for as low as $2 and for as much as $130. The cost of the supplements will vary depending on the brand and how much of the product is in the bottle.
You will find that lutein is available in pills, powder and liquid form. Most of the powders are sold in bulk so keep that in mind if you search for this form of supplement. Find and compare lutein from several different providers by using the free supplement finder now!