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)
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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