Lutein – Can Lutein help cataracts?

Found in leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens, both lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoid antioxidants that have been linked to reducing the risk(1), or, postponing the onset, of eye conditions such as cataracts.

There is significant scientific evidence that suggests(1) that lutein helps to stave off cataracts. Indeed, evidence suggests that a regular and healthy intake of both lutein and zeaxanthin in a person’s diet can help protect the eyes against cataracts, macular degeneration and other ocular conditions.

It’s widely agreed upon, though, that these two carotenoids are not the entire picture when it comes to vitamins and minerals that promote eye health, as they work in concert with various other antioxidants and carotenoids to prevent oxidative stress in the eye and help to prevent the damage caused when blue light hits the macula.  Lutein and zeaxanthin function as blue light filters, and, as such, can help reduce the risk of cataracts(2).

In addition to lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, glutathione, polyphenols, omega-3, manganese and zinc have all been linked to improved eye health, as well.

A healthy, nutritious and varied diet, consisting of substantial amounts of fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, fish and meat will, without a shadow of a doubt, help you to maintain not just healthy eyes, but general health as well.

The key message regarding lutein itself? Eat leafy, green vegetables every day, and take a well-balanced vitamin supplement that contains a variety of antioxidants and nutrients.

 

References

  1. American Optometric Association (AOA): Diet and nutrition
  2. All About Vision: Lutein and zeaxanthin: Eye and vision benefits

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