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2011-06-24

More Evidence for Lutein's Eye Protection Effects

Over the years, lutein has shown some excellent results in scientific studies on eye health, particularly in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD, the leading cause of blindness). This new study shows how lutein may protect the DNA of photoreceptive cells (cells that detect light) in the retina from the harmful effects of strong light.

Lutein, an antioxidant carotenoid, is a nutrient found in various foods including green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Essentially, it acts as "internal sunglasses" that protect your eyes from light (especially blue light, which is more harmful to the eyes) and ultraviolet rays.

While this new study was conducted on mice, we would expect the same type of results in humans. Results indicated that lutein supplementation reduced a range of detrimental effects associated with light exposure, including visual impairment, and a thinning of the layer of photoreceptor cells.

The researchers also note that a marker of DNA damage was up-regulated in the control group, but this was suppressed in the lutein-fed mice.

Lutein is becoming an increasingly popular supplement as the general population ages. It also provides a number of other benefits, including:
  • helps eyes see fine details in low light conditions and distinguish between different object
  • increases the ability to tolerate and recover more quickly from glaring bright light, such as head-on car headlights at night (this is called photostress recovery)
  • improves quality of breastmilk (higher lutein content in breastmilk to benefit infants)
  • improves skin health (hydration, elasticity, reduction in oxidative damage, and increased skin lipids)
For humans, it looks like the minimum dose needed is about 10 mg daily, but more certainly would help.

Well, that's it for the week. Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Source: Biological role of lutein in the light-induced retinal degeneration

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1 comment:

  1. Great summary of the science! There is even some evidence that lutein may help with cognition (people who consumed lutein with or without DHA had improvements in memory scores).

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