My Eye

The little antioxidant With

Big Benefits

Here’s why LUTEIN has jumped to the top of must – eat lists


 “We all used to talk about beta carotene (the orange pigment in carrots) in preventing disease. It’s now lutein,” says Frederick Khachik, Ph.D., senior researcher at the University of Maryland. “Lutein is just as important to health, or more so, than beta-carotene”.

The antioxidant lutein has a yellow pigment (the yellow is covered up by chlorophyll in green leaves).


Evidence is impressive & growing


   Saves eyes. Lutein is most often hailed as a possible way to protect eyes from macular degeneration, (Lutein is a unique antioxidant that safeguards your eyes’ retinal cells from damaging high – energy blue light & free radicals) a leading cause of blindness in older people. A landmark Dutch study of men showed that taking 10 milligrams of lutein daily for 3 months increased thickness in the eye’s center (macula) by 22%, presumably reducing its vulnerability to damage & loss of vision. Researchers at Harvard found eating 6mg of lutein a day (roughly ¼ cup cooked spinach) lowered the odds of macular degeneration by 43%. Remarkably, eating sautéed spinach 4 to 7 times a week for 3 months even reversed some very early signs of the disease, according to a small study by Stuart Richard, PhD at the DVA Medical Center in North Chicago, Ill. Loading up on lutein also seems to reduce the odds of cataracts by 20% to 50% according to several studies.

   Discourages Cancer. A recent study by Tufts University & Korean investigators revealed a dramatic 88% drop in breast cancer in woman who had the highest blood concentrations of lutein.

Researchers at the University of Utah Medical School found that the highest consumers of lutein (a mere 2.4mg daily) were 17% less likely to develop colon cancer {4 more info. on colon cancer email me} than those who ate the least (300micrograms). Generally, the more lutein consumed, the lower the risk. High lutein also has been linked to fewer lung, prostate & ovarian cancers.

   In animals, lutein even slowed the growth of breast tumors. In test tubes, it killed cancer cells.

Researchers speculate that lutein switches off carcinogenic activity & boosts immune functioning.

   Prevents clogged arteries. A university of Southern California professor, James H. Dwyer, compared the carotid (neck) arteries of middle – aged people. In 18 months, people with the lowest blood lutein had 4 times the carotid thickening of people with the highest levels. (Thickening is a sign of blood vessel clogging throughout the body.)

Probable reason: Cells bathed in lutein were less likely to help “bad” LDL cholesterol stick to artery walls.

    What to look out for. Some vision nutrients & multivitamins use a cheap form of Lutein known as Lutein esters. They are extracted from the same source of Lutein, but stay in their “esterfied” form, making them hard for your body to absorb. Not to worry, learning that U need to have high levels of digestive enzymes & dietary fat to “convert” them to usable Lutein.  Read the article on Vitamins in My web-site it will help U grasp the idea read the Probiotics section. (the aging process  lessons the body of producing amongst other things enzymes, “replenishing is the key”).


Best food sources

Per ½ Cup

Kale, Cooked


Collard greens, Cooked


Spinach, raw/ cooked

3.3mg/ 6.3mg

Broccoli, raw/ cooked

1mg / 1.7mg

Brussels sprouts, cooked


Corn, cooked


FYI: Egg Yolks have tiny amounts of lutein – about 0.2mg per yolk because chickens eat corn.)

Lutein is also available in pill form


Lutein is fat – soluble, so U need a little fat to absorb it. Lutein & another antioxidant, zeaxanthin, often r found in the same foods & work together to maximize antioxidant activity.


Poor night vision is a big problem. It makes it harder for you to see when U drive at night & get around in the dark. This is a very common problem as we age, & the cause is often a lack of a key protein called Rhodopsin. (A chromo protein (protein linked to a pigment-carrying substance) that is contained in the light-sensitive cells of the rod type in the retina of the eye; it functions in the eye’s adaptation to dim light. When the eye is exposed to bright light, the rhodopsin bleaches; after an interval of darkness, it returns to its former purple-red color. Rhodopsin of the rods most strongly absorb green-blue light and therefore appears reddish-purple, which is why it is also called "visual purple". It is responsible for monochromatic vision in the dark.).The pigment-bearing portion of rhodopsin is retinal, a substance formed by oxidation of vitamin A. The protein portion is opsin. In a bright light rhodopsin breaks down into retinal and opsin; in the dark the process is reversed.  


Source of reference: USA weekend, Journal of Natural Alternatives Vol.1 issue 3, Internet,


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