Lutein in Latin means yellow. Lutein vitamin is a carotenoid, and while you probably always heard that you need carrots to improve your vision the truth is your sight and eye health might depend on how much of this compound you have in your diet. You get Lutein from food like green leafy vegetables. Spinach, carrots, squash, bilberry and kale are all good suppliers as are most yellow fruits or vegetables, egg yolks and animal fat.
Since Lutein is a lipophilic molecule it is insoluble in water, there are no knonw side effects that will severely affect your health. In the human body research has found that Lutein is concentrated in the macular which is the part of the retina responsible for your central vision.
The role of Lutein as the protector of your eyes is very important. The concentration of it in one small area of the eyes is hypothesized to be a way of protecting the retina from high-energy light and oxidative stress. There seems to be a direct correlation between how much Lutein you intake and the pigmentation in your eyes. The way humans detect polarized light or the entopic phenomenon called Haidinger’s brush also strongly depends on Lutein.
Other roles that Lutein plays in the body have to do with the circulatory system. Research has shown Lutein can possible have an effect on atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a thickening of the arteries that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
Age related macular degeneration can result in the lost of central vision. Also called AMD it strikes mostly older adults and is considered a disease of aging. This condition occurs in two forms “wet” and “dry”. Both forms are due to damage to the retina, and it can cause a vision impairment which makes seeing the details of faces, watching television or reading either difficult or impossible.
Peripheral vision is not affected. Behind the cornea of the eye is the retina which contains the nerves that communicate what is in sight to the brain. Behind the retina is the choroid, and it holds the blood supply for the macular. People who have the dry type of AMD have cellular debris buildup between the choroid and the retina. As debris’s accumulate the retina will become detached and the vision in that eye obscured. In the wet type of AMD the blood vessels grow apart from the choroid behind the retina. As with the dry type of AMD the retina becomes detached.
Studies have found that Lutein as a multivitamin supplement combined with other antioxidants can help slow down the progress of both wet and dry types of macular degeneration. If you have family members who have developed this condition you are more likely to also develop AMD than someone with no family history of the condition.
Taking Lutein supplement is shown to be of benefit for anyone with AMD. It can be taken as a supplement by anyone wanting to protect their eyes from damage and the effects of aging. Lutein can be taken alone as a supplement or in a multi-formula such as XTEND Life Multi Extra that contains other anti-aging compounds, amino acids, and vitamins.