There Are Benefits of Lutein For the Eyes
There have been hundreds of studies concerning the value of phyto-nutrients like beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein for the eyes. Phyto-nutrients include common vitamins, minerals and unique antioxidants that are found in plant foods.
We are learning more and more about their value to human health.
Although, we have known about the antioxidant for decades, taking lutein for eyes has only been recommended for the last 10 years or so. It did not receive the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status until June of 2003.
Many optometrists and ophthalmologists have suggested taking lutein for the eyes. Their numbers are continuing to increase. It may, at some point in the future, become commonplace, recommended during each eye exam, because of a common condition and the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. It is called age-related macular degeneration or AMD.
AMD is a progressive disease that affects the retina of the eye. In the early stages, before symptoms appear, yellow clumps can be seen on the retina, located in the back of the eye. Occasionally, these clumps can grow and cover the macula, which is where central vision occurs. The reason doctor's recommend lutein for eyes is because the macula contains large amounts of it and its "sister" zeaxanthin ("Zea-a-ZAN-thin").
The content and concentration of these pigments decrease with age and exposure to sunlight, contributing to the progress and severity of AMD. Taking lutein for eyes is recommended, because it appears to slow the progress of the disease and some studies suggest it may help prevent blindness in those people who have it. The disease may even be reversible.
Regardless of your age or current state of health, taking lutein for the eyes can help protect them from "high-energy blue light", a visible portion of the light spectrum emitted by the sun and some artificial lighting. It has been proposed for years that UV rays, invisible light from the sun and other sources, plays a role in the formation of cataracts in the crystalline lens.
This is why wearing UV blocking sunglasses has been recommended. UV filters are commonly added to spectacles for this reason, as well.
The role of high-energy blue light has only recently been investigated. It relates to the benefit of taking lutein for eyes, because the pigment absorbs blue light, preventing it from doing any kind of damage.
In addition to investigating the benefits of lutein for the eyes, scientists are also looking at how or if it can protect the skin from sun exposure, free radical damage and cancer.
Currently, we can only say that taking lutein for eyes and general health is a good idea.
Although there are many food sources of the nutrient, the quantity found in them is very low. Only spinach has a reasonable amount.
If you want the benefits of lutein for the eyes, supplementation is the easiest way to insure that you are getting enough.
The better multi-nutritional supplements on the market contain a variety of nutrients that are important to the health of the eye and your overall health.