One of more than 600 naturally occurring carotenoids, lutein is primarily found in numerous plants and green leafy vegetables. It has been studied to offer a myriad of benefits which is why many individuals are looking for lutein supplements that they could take regularly. Here are some of the health properties of lutein.

1. Lutein is known for enhancing the functioning of the eyes by making them healthier and improving their capability to process blue light. It can also help in filtering some of the harmful rays of the sun, acting as natural sunglasses for the eyes. Also, many individuals who take lutein through food rich in it or through supplements do so to prevent or treat macular degeneration. This is because when lutein is consumed by the body, a fair amount is stored in the eyes and directly affects the macula. The macula is the part of the retina which controls the quality of central vision. As a person ages, the macula tends to deteriorate, which could affect eyesight. Lutein effectively helps to improve the condition of the macula, promoting better eyesight.

2. Being a powerful antioxidant, lutein can also help in reducing harmful free radicals in cells that could contribute to cell damage, preventing chronic illnesses and other diseases. It also enhances cell renewal and regeneration, delaying the signs of aging.

3. When taken with zeaxanthin, lutein can effectively help in preventing cataract and can be used a supplementary treatment for patients who already have cataract. There have been many studies conducted which have shown those who increased their intake of lutein had a lower chance of vision deterioration or loss.

4. Lutein can help in preventing many types of cancers, primarily colon cancer through improving the functioning of the cells and the organs of the body.

5. It can also lower the level of bad cholesterol in the body.

7. It improves the symptoms of osteoarthritis such as joint and back pains. Lutein is also used as an effective treatment by many individuals who are suffering from arthritis.

8. Lutein helps in improving the circulation of blood and in cleaning the arteries. This lowers the chances of cardiovascular problems such as stroke and heart disease.

Lutein is a nutrient that cannot be manufactured by the human body which is why it is important to consume foods which are excellent sources of this antioxidant. It can be found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, primarily those that have dark green leaves. You could try adding these to your daily diet to get a good amount of lutein: kale, collard greens, kiwi, garden peas, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, bilberries, grapes, Brussels sprouts, corn, romaine lettuce, zucchini, peas, turnip greens, tangerines and oranges. You can also get your dosage of lutein from egg yolks and corn. These are basically food that are commonly consumed; however, by increasing your intake of the fruits and vegetables mentioned, you would be able to maximize the benefits of lutein.

For elderly individuals or for those who have lutein deficiency, there are many lutein supplements which are readily available in the market. There are those which come in capsule form and some which are available as a sublingual spray. They are sometimes combined with other vitamins such as thiamine to promote good eye health. Most vitamin shops and health food stores carry a wide range of supplements containing lutein. You can try browsing through products offered by reputable manufacturers and retailers. However, keep in mind that even though you have lutein supplements, it is still important to maintain a balanced diet and to avoid bad lifestyle habits to improve your overall health.

Last updated on Jan 23rd, 2010 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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