Lutein: The role it plays in eye health

Lutein: The role it plays in eye health

Researchers from the University Eye Clinic in Maastricht, The Netherlands have looked at the role of Lutein in eye health.

Lutein is one of the carotenoids – it is a yellow and orange pigment found in many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, mangoes, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and dark leafy greens such as kale and bok choy.  Interestingly, lutein tends to make up a minor part of our diets here in the UK.

It has been suggested for some time that Lutein protects the eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts.

Lutein, together with another anti-oxidant, zeaxanthin, forms the macular pigment (and thus protects us from glare and bright lights).

The research showed that animals that did not have an intake of lutein displayed early signs of degeneration of the retina.

Of equal interest to us Birdshotters is the recent findings that lutein can affect immune responses and reduce inflammation.

We are not suggesting that every Birdshotter rushes out to buy lutein – remember that every supplement can affect our body negatively as well as positively, and can inter-act with our medication regimes – so it is always best to check with your consultant.  However, this piece of research looks very promising, and is a really good reminder that we need a balanced, healthy diet.

The full article can be found at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22465791

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