All About Lutein (Part One)

Vitamin HealthEye Health, Macular Degeneration, Ocular Nutrition

Lutein is an antioxidant that supports your vision!

Our vision is often taken for granted until it is impacted — whether that just be from being near sighted or far sighted vision or age-related conditions, such as cataracts or  age-related macular degeneration. While we can’t stop progressive vision loss, there are ways to support it.

At Viteyes, we have formulated leading eye vitamins including those based on the AREDS 2 study and more to support your eyes with nutrients such as omega-3s, bilberry, and lutein. Take a moment with us today and explore what lutein can do for your vision!

The “Eye Vitamin” Lutein

Lutein (LOO-teen) was nicknamed the eye vitamin because of the role it plays in our eye health. But, before we get into that, let’s address what lutein is.

Lutein is an antioxidant and further classified as a carotenoid. A carotenoid is a pigment — typically yellow, red, or orange — that is fat-soluble. Oftentimes in eye formulas, you’ll see both lutein and zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin) together, zeaxanthin being another vision-boosting eye nutrient. 

Both of these vision powerhouses protect the eyes from oxidative damage and address inflammation. Many foods including colorful fruits and veggies such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and citrus fruits are abundant in lutein and zeaxanthin. 

Lutein The Missing Nutrient

Lutein is beneficial to our eyes, yet it is often missing or low in our diets because of the lack of vegetables and fruits that are missing. If you’re eating a heavily processed diet with few fruits and vegetables, it’s important to try and get more of those in! When you consume more whole foods and have a colorful plate at every meal, there is a good chance you’re getting more lutein and zeaxanthin, naturally! 

While getting lutein and zeaxanthin from the foods we eat is always the goal it doesn’t always happen, which is why supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can be implemented to help increase your levels and better support your eyes.

What Does Lutein Do?

Lutein and zeaxanthin, in nature, are shown to absorb a surplus of light, to prevent and protect plants from getting too much light exposure, namely high-energy rays such as blue light. 

In humans, lutein and zeaxanthin are found in rich concentrations in the macula of the eye. Lutein supports our eyes by sifting out damaging short-wavelength UV light rays that affect the delicate macula. 

As we mentioned before, lutein is an antioxidant that fights the effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that play a role in many health concerns. 

Why is lutein important to our vision?

A vital function of our eyes is for the lens to gather and focus light on the retina. The retina needs to remain clear in order to function properly and this becomes difficult when it is clouded, a common sign of cataracts. The lens typically becomes cloudy as a result of oxidative damage, which is why we need antioxidants to balance the free radicals. 

Lutein is a supportive and beneficial nutrient for our eye health, and there is still so much information to cover. It is important to get lutein in your diet or supplement with a vitamin, such as one from Viteyes! Stay tuned for part two as we dive into the AREDS2 study and how to choose a good lutein supplement!

For more information on the eye vitamins we carry, connect with us today!