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Learn Your Lutein in 5 Minutes

by WeAreFeel Team |

– The Health Dossier with WeAreFeel

What is lutein?

The more we learn about the dangers of blue light, the more attractive lutein becomes. No matter how high you crank the “night shift” function on your laptop or smartphone, blue light still leaks through, and then it’s up to lutein to neutralise the threat.

This nutrient absorbs into an organ within your retinas that nullifies blue light. Without enough lutein, blue light does even more damage to your eyes than it would normally, but when you load up on plenty of this plant-based nutrient, you’ll be a blue-light-defeating superhero no matter how late you work into the night.

 

Is lutein water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Lutein is fat-soluble. Therefore, it takes a while for this substance to absorb into your system, and once you absorb it, lutein stays in your body for a while.

 

Where can lutein be found naturally? Common sources of lutein:

Lutein is usually present in high concentrations in green, leafy vegetables. Since this substance is available in lots of different plants animals eat, some animal products, such as eggs, are also high in lutein.

 

5 foods/drinks containing lutein

1. Spinach

2. Kale

3. Eggs

4. Parsley

5. Broccoli

 

What is the recommended daily value for lutein?

There is currently no NRV of lutein since this substance is not recognised as an essential vitamin or mineral. As we learn more about the benefits of lutein and the dangers of blue light, however, it’s likely that the healing power of this substance will become more widely-recognised.

 

Can you absorb enough of lutein from food?

Lutein is only available in food in very small quantities. Since there is no recommended daily value for this substance, the definition of “enough” lutein depends on your purpose. Do you simply want to get enough lutein to protect your retinas and keep your eyes healthy? Then you can probably rely on food sources.

If you want to use lutein to protect yourself from blue light, which is rapidly becoming an occupational hazard in the tech-24/7 age, however, you’ll need to take supplements to get the lutein you need for your purposes. Plus, protecting you from blue light is only the beginning of what lutein has to offer.

 

Why is lutein necessary for your body?

The main function of lutein is to help your retinas function properly, and this substance can transform into zeaxanthin in your body, which is also needed for proper retinal health. At the same time, however, scientists are starting to recognise that lutein has other benefits that are far more than just in the eye of the beholder.

 

Functions of lutein

Blue light absorption: The macula lutea in the retina absorbs the lutein that you consume, and in addition to preventing blue light damage, this natural nutrient also appears to reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration.

Cognitive increase: Limited research indicates that lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation increases cognitive functioning in elderly people. Beta carotene was also researched, and it was determined that lutein performed better.

Cardiovascular benefits: Lutein appears to reduce the levels of interleukin-6 in your body, which is a pro-inflammatory substance that contributes to cardiovascular disease.

 

Symptoms of lutein deficiency

Since this substance has not been recognised as an essential nutrient, it is not technically possible to be deficient in lutein. Failing to consume reasonable levels of this nutrient, however, may result in increased blue light damage in your eyes and increased likelihood of developing macular degeneration.

Furthermore, if it’s true that lutein has other benefits that extend beyond the reach of eyesight, then you might be missing out in other ways if you don’t include this nutrient in your diet. Vegans and others who don’t eat animals or especially likely to benefit from the cardiovascular and cognitive benefits provided by lutein.

 

How long do you need to take lutein to start experiencing its benefits if you’re deficient?

Since lutein is a fat-soluble nutrient, it may take quite some time to recover from lutein deficiency. At the same time, however, severe deficiency in this nutrient is rare, and your retinas should be able to store all the lutein they’ll need for a while.

 

How long does it take for your body to digest/absorb lutein?

Various factors affect the bioavailability of lutein. At this point, there are not a lot of concrete data on the bioavailability of this nutrient, but we do know that changing the formulation of lutein alters its absorption rate.

 

How long does lutein stay in your body after you take it?

Lutein is stored in the retinas and in other parts of the body. As a fat-soluble nutrient, lutein tends to build up and stay in your tissues for quite some time.

 

Is lutein an antioxidant?

Like other carotenoids, lutein appears to have potent antioxidant benefits. This antioxidant profile is most likely responsible for lutein’s benefits both inside and outside of the eye, and vegans need plenty of antioxidants to make up for the nutrients in animal products.

 

Can you overdose on lutein? What are the effects?

Only limited data are available on the effects of lutein overdose. One case study, however, details how a Filipino woman contracted crystalline maculopathy after consuming an incredibly high dose of lutein. Since there is no NRV for lutein, some consumers might accidentally use too much of this substance, but rest assured that we include a safe dose of lutein in our Feel Multivitamin.

 

Does lutein dissolve, flush out, or build up in the body?

Lutein builds up in certain tissues in the retina. It may also build up in other tissues, but it gradually flushes out as it is used.

 

Can you take lutein during a diet?

There is no indication that consuming lutein could have any bearing, either positive or negative, on your dietary habits.

 

Are there synthetic forms of lutein?

Due to the popularity of this nutrient, scientists have explored the possibility of synthesizing lutein in laboratory conditions. While these experiments have been largely successful, natural lutein is still more cost-efficient in most situations.

 

Why might synthetic forms of lutein be better?

The main benefit of synthetic lutein would be reduced cost.

 

Absorption rate of synthetic lutein

Researchers were capable of making 74%-pure lutein in a Chinese lab.

 

Why might natural forms of lutein be better?

In most cases, researchers only recognise the detriments or dangers of synthetic nutrients after they have been on the market for years. The natural form of a nutrient is usually superior, so attempts to chemically synthesise lutein may be doomed to failure due to market economics.

 

How to take lutein

Lutein can be consumed in food or in supplements.

 

Lutein trends in medicine

Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to a class of compounds called macular xanthophylls, and a recent study added new weight to the argument that these plant-based nutrients may provide cognitive benefits. Even if you’re taking lutein for the ocular benefits, this research serves as a reminder that we’re only starting to learn what lutein has to offer.

 

Why everyone should be taking WeAreFeel supplements

With all the benefits of lutein in mind, it was a no-brainer to add this natural ingredient to our new Feel Multivitamin. Anyone who spends time in front of screens needs to be taking lutein, and if you have macular degeneration, this nutrient might serve as a ray of hope. Whatever the case may be, the antioxidant benefits of lutein shouldn’t be overlooked, and now, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your daily Feel capsule contains all the lutein your eyes need.

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