Ocular Health Benefits
Lutein’s effects in the eyes are the most-studied properties of this nutrient. At the same time, however, researchers have also explored the idea that lutein might provide benefits throughout the body.
When you ingest lutein, it absorbs into your blood, and it is then transported to your retinas. Specifically, lutein is absorbed by the macula lutea, which is a pigmented region near the centre of the retina. Scientists haven’t determined exactly how the macula lutea benefits from this absorption process, but research has made it clear that lutein has ocular benefits that could save you thousands on optometrist bills.
A scientific review of the available evidence looked at the effects of lutein on a variety of ocular conditions, and this research especially centred on the benefits this natural substance might offer for macular degeneration (AMD). In the end, the researchers concluded that “several epidemiological studies that link lutein supplementation with decreased risk of AMD.”
The concluding remarks of the review go on to say that supplementation with lutein “has also been positively linked to increased macular pigment density and improved multifocal electroretinogram responses.” Of the utmost importance, however, is lutein’s reported nullification of the harmful effects of blue light.
Over the last few years, a lot of progress has been made in the arena of blue light research and how this type of light can harm the eyes and contribute to ocular diseases. If you don’t already, enable night shift on your electronic devices, and keep in mind that you can get warm-light LED bulbs that don’t emit very much blue light.
With enough lutein, however, blue light won’t be as harmful to your eyes regardless of which preventive measures you take. According to the scientific review referenced above, lutein “has a significant role in protecting against AMD, most likely through its absorption of the harmful blue light, as well as its inherent antioxidant properties.”
Lutein appears to absorb blue light, which protects your overall eye health. Take a capsule of Feel Multivitamin™ every day, and stop worrying so much about your occasional late-night Netflix binges.
Interconversion with Zeaxanthin
Zeaxanthin is another carotenoid that’s essential to eye health, and it’s practically indistinguishable from lutein. These two substances are interconvertible in the body; lutein can be changed into zeaxanthin, and visa versa. Therefore, any potential zeaxanthin deficiency can also be solved by supplementing with lutein; it isn’t necessary to also supplement with zeaxanthin.
Cognitive Functioning Benefits
A fascinating 2013 study sought to establish the relationship between a few different substances and cognitive health in elderly people. Out of the participants in the study, 78 were octogenarians, and 220 were centenarians, and the researchers found that “lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene concentrations were most consistently related to better cognition (P < 0.05) in the whole population and in the centenarians.” The authors of the study went on to report that “lutein and β-carotene were related to cognition with lutein being consistently associated with a range of measures.”
Increased Cardiovascular Health
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is one of the most prevalent pro-inflammatory compounds in the body, and the more lutein you have in the body, the lower your system-wide IL-6 concentration becomes, one study says. Therefore, lutein appears to be an anti-inflammatory substance that deserves further research for this application.