Lutein is derived from the latin word for yellow. Lutein is a xanthophyll; xanthophylls are yellow pigments found in the carotenoid group. Lutein is a yellow-to-orange phytochemical found mostly in fruits and vegetables.
Luteinis is found in large quantities in green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Kale is one of the richest sources of lutein. Other natural sources of lutein are spinach, green peas, zucchini, brussel sprouts, pistachio nuts, maize, carrot,red pepper, mustard and kiwifruit. It is also available in health food supplements.
Lutein is an antioxidant and will help keep your skin looking fresh, smooth and young.Lutein intake can also prevent sunburn and skin cancer by reducing free radicals.
The center of the retina is called the macula. Lutein is found in high concentration in the macula. Lutein keeps the eyes healthy and prevents Age Related Macular Degeneration (MD) of the eye. With age, the macula degenerates, and the vision of the eyes can get blurred; this is known in medical terms as MD.
Lutein has also been found to reduce the risk of cataracts.
Lutein is considered to reduce the risk of heart disease. People with higher intake of lutein had the lowest thickening of the wall of the arteries.
Who can benefit from taking Lutein
Most people meet their lutein intake when they eat colored vegetables and fruits in their raw form. For people whose intake of lutein rich foods is low, lutein supplements are available. Lutein also helps people suffering from photosensitive disorders.
Research does not indicate any side-effects on the intake of lutein. Side effects are limited to bronzing of the skin in some rare cases.
Though there is no specific dosage of lutein advised, you can see positive effects at a daily dietary intake level of 6 mg to 10 mg.