Lutein is the active carotenoid in this potent, natural source antioxidant. It is naturally derived from marigold flowers and contains a normal blend of carotenoids including zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.
- Targeted Protection for the Eyes*
- Guarding Against Macular Degeneration*
- Vital Protection Against Cataracts*
- Shown to Support Cardiovascular Health*
- Fights Atherosclerosis*
- Eye Health Support*
Lutein is a yellow pigment in the chemical family of carotenoids and produced by vegetables, marigold flowers, and alfalfa to a lesser degree in many other plants. The original medical association of Lutein was as an isolate from the corpus luteum, a part of the ovaries, and hence its name (Latin for egg yolk), but an important medical aspect is its presence in the macula of the eye where it is strongly implicated in maintaining eye health. Humans do not synthesize Lutein and depend entirely on dietary sources such as vegetables or supplement Lutein pills.
Carotenoids are a subclass of phytonutruients, which are prominent in fruits and vegetables and have antioxidant as well as other biological activities that may promote health. Lutein and lycopene are among the most abundant dietary carotenoids found in fruits, vegetables and human serum.
Lutein and zeaxanthin also happen to be the main pigments in part of the eye called the macula. Research shows that people with diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are at a lower risk for degeneration of the macula, which is the leading cause of blindness in older adults.*
Lutein has in the past several years been the subject of many studies associating it with risk reduction for failing eyesight due to Age-related Macular Degeneration or AMD, and therefore has generated significant interest. A general conclusion from the information available is that increased dietary intake of Lutein reduces the risk for macular degeneration. Note that risk reduction does not imply a cure once macular degeneration has started but reduction of risk implies prevention for some people, and slowing or halting the progression of macular degeneration once it starts could be realistic expectations as more studies are indicating.*
A recent study relating lutein to macular degeneration by Stuart Richer, O.D. presented at the Southern Council of Optometrists 1999 annual meeting, indicated "improvements in visual function in as little as three months. Often striking improvements in vision were detected through follow-up tests, even when the patient did not report subjective vision changes" in study subjects with the dry form of macular degeneration after a diet supplemented with lutein rich foods. Since the study group apparently did not include subjects with wet form macular degeneration it would not be scientifically prudent to assume that both forms would have the same results. Yet assuming that the wet form would not benefit may not be a prudent approach either, considering the relative ease and inexpense of supplementing a diet with lutein rich foods or lutein pills.*
Sufficient lutein of the quantity indicated for macular degeneration risk reduction can be obtained from a proper diet, but considering that this requires daily attention to the lutein content of specific food items not usually present in a diet and the disciplinary persistence to maintain that attention, many people may not obtain the lutein required for macular degeneration risk reduction solely from diet. Often people in the over 75 high risk group reside in senior housing complexes where meals are supplied and the option to select a lutein rich diet is not available.*
The compounds lutein and zeaxanthin form the macular pigment (color) found in the eye. High levels of these compounds in the eye are thought to prevent age-related macular degeneration, a form of blindness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether increasing the intake of foods, which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, could raise the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in the blood macular pigment in the eye. Over 14-15 week period ten subjects added spinach to their usual diets; 9 subjects also added corn; and 2 subjects were given only corn. For those who ate the spinach-supplemented diets, seven subjects had increases in blood lutein and zeaxanthin levels and increases in macular pigment eye levels. Two subjects showed increases in lutein and zeaxanthin levels but no change in eye macular pigment levels. One subject showed no changes in lutein, zeaxanthin or macular pigment blood levels. For the 2 subjects given only corn, blood zeaxanthin and eye macular pigment of one subject increased, while there was no change in the blood nor the eye levels of the other subject. Macular pigment increases were seen within 4 weeks for most, but not all, subjects and remained high for at least several months after supplementation. It appears that macular pigment can be increased by increasing intake of foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin.*
A true photochemical heavyweight, leafy green kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids with powerful antioxidant properties. Lutein constitutes between 15 and 47 per cent of the carotenoid content of dark green leafy vegetables.
Lutein acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. At one time researchers believed all antioxidants served the same purpose. Now there is growing evidence that individual antioxidants may be used by the body for specific purposes. Researchers believe that lutein is deposited into areas of the body most prone to free radical damage.*
Carotenoids have numerous biological properties that may underpin a role for them as chemopreventive agents. However, except for beta-carotene, little is known about how dietary carotenoids are associated with common cancers, including colon cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between dietary alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin and the risk of colon cancer. Lutein was inversely associated with colon cancer in both men and women. The greatest inverse association was observed among subjects in whom colon cancer was diagnosed when they were young and among those with tumors located in the proximal segment of the colon. The associations with other carotenoids were unremarkable.*
CONCLUSION: The major dietary sources of lutein in subjects with colon cancer and in control subjects were spinach, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, oranges and orange juice, carrots, celery, and greens. These data suggest that incorporating these foods into the diet may help reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.*
The consumption of fruits and vegetables has been associated with reduced risk of several types of cancers. Carotenoids are abundant in these foods and have been proposed as cancer protective compounds because of their antioxidant and provitamin A activities. Lutein, an abundant carotenoid in many fruits and vegetables but without vitamin A activity, has been shown to possess strong antioxidant capability in laboratory studies. Results from the present study demonstrate that lutein and zeaxanthin, an isomer of lutein, are partially oxidized in vivo to several metabolites. These observations confirm the antioxidant activity of lutein in vivo, which supports one of the proposed cancer protective mechanisms of carotenoids. Results and conclusions from these studies will benefit the diet and health community as well as policy makers.*
LifeSource Vitamins - Lutein Esters w/ Zeaxanthin - Lutein is an antioxidant that plays a major role in eye and skin health. The older we get, Lutein levels decline in your eyes, and can lead to macular degeneration. Lutein can also improve your skin.*