You’ve likely heard about lutein – it’s a well-known supplement for healthy eyes.* Let’s take a deep dive into how it works and why it’s so fantastic for the eyes, brain, skin, and more!* While we’re exploring lutein, we’ll also take a look at zeaxanthin, as they are typically found together in eye health supplements.*
Both lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful fat-soluble carotenoids. Carotenoids refer to the pigment in vegetables and plants. There are over 600 different types of carotenoids! Lutein is found in plants with yellow, orange, and red pigments. Carotenoids protect plants from UV damage by absorbing excess light energy. While plants don’t necessarily get sunburned, excess energy from harmful light rays can damage the DNA in a plant and hinder its growth. It’s remarkable that plants have built-in sun-protection! In humans, carotenoids do not occur endogenously (meaning they’re not made by our bodies), and they must be supplemented from the diet. Some of the highest concentrations of lutein in food comes from leafy greens like spinach and kale.
A lutein source that isn’t a part of a normal diet is the marigold flower – bright orange flowers that look like sunshine on a stalk. Lutein is a wonderful example of the Doctrine of Signatures concept. The Doctrine of Signatures concept holds that a plant’s physical appearance is a clue to its health benefits. For example, walnuts look like the brain and they’re packed with omega-3s. Well, here we have marigolds, bright little balls of sun that protect us from light damage.* In the eye, lutein and zeaxanthin serve to block high energy wave lengths of visible light that can damage the retina whether that be sunlight or the abundance of blue light we’re exposed to.* The protective benefits also extend to our skin – lutein supports healthy inflammatory processes in the skin and helps protect against harmful UV rays.*
Emerging science is demonstrating broad-reaching benefits to lutein. This impressive carotenoid has been found in the blood serum, breasts, cervix, adipose tissue, skin, and brain.* It is a powerful antioxidant, supporting brain health, as well as the cardiovascular system, the skin – the largest organ, and of course the eyes.*
If lutein isn’t part of your daily supplement regimen, you may want to add it in. It offers important support for the eyes and so many aspects of your health.* Make sure to check out Natural Factors Lutein and other eye health supplements today!