Having eye problems? Learn about the various lutein health benefits and how they may help with eye and vision problems.
It’s no secret that the body needs nutrients to work at optimal capacity. Lutein is a key nutrient for eye health due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s a carotenoid, which is a type of plant chemical that provides the vibrant colors in plants. In addition to benefiting plant health, carotenoids provide benefits for people who eat foods rich in the phytonutrient.
Besides lutein, zeaxanthin is another carotenoid that helps with eye health. These two are the only dietary carotenoids in the retina and are mainly concentrated in the macula region (back of the eye).
Due to their position, lutein and zeaxanthin are known as macular pigments.
Lutein Health Benefits for Eyes
Due to their antioxidant properties, lutein and zeaxanthin may protect the eyes in multiple ways. According to research, these carotenoids may help suppress inflammation, defend against oxidative stress, and protect against free radicals.
They may also help enhance sharpness in vision, improve visual contrast sensitivity, and reduce glare impairment. Furthermore, they may protect eye tissue from sunlight damage, reduce cell loss and death associated with eye disease, and protect eyes from blue light.
These two nutrients may also convert light signals into electrical signals in the retina. Additionally, they may aid in the transmission of those signals to the brain’s visual cortex.
Lastly, they may provide protection against myopia (nearsightedness). They may also help protect pre-term infants from the effects of retinopathy of prematurity.
Benefits for Eye Conditions
Lutein and zeaxanthin may also provide benefits for people with certain eye conditions. Those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and dry eye disease may experience benefits from these nutrients.
According to a 2011 study, both lutein and zeaxanthin may help protect against the progression of late-stage AMD to blindness. These nutrients may also help reduce oxidative stress markers leading to vision loss, although more research is necessary.
A 2006 study suggests that people who have a dietary deficiency in lutein and zeaxanthin are at higher risk of developing cataracts. Another study suggests that lutein may help reduce the symptoms in people with dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease (or dry eye syndrome) happens when the eyes don’t make enough lubrication to coat the eyes. As a result, those with the condition can experience red, burning, itchy eyes and feel as if sand is in the eyes.
It’s important to take care of all aspects of your health, including your eye health. Fortunately, lutein (as well as zeaxanthin) may provide eye health benefits and help those with certain eye conditions.
You can obtain lutein from dietary sources as well as supplements. Moreover, there are other vitamins and minerals that can also help with eye and vision health.
Elements of Health Care’s Eye & Vision Support combines some of these nutrients to strengthen the cornea, retina, and more. It uses Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Chromium, which support healthy eyes and vision.
Consider adding eye health supplements to your routine that contain lutein and more nutrients that protect your eye health.