A Yellow Pigment " Lutein" An Aid to Eye Health

(Dr.Waseem Razaq, )

Overview :
Lutein is one of two xanthophyll present in the eye (zeazanthin is other one ) , and one of six hundred known naturally occurring, carotenoids . Lutein came from Latin "luteus " meaning yellow. It is synthesized only by plants and like other xanthophylls mostly it is found in green leafy vegetables, carrots and colorful fruits. Lutein is isomer of zeaxanthin , both of these xanthophyls play their important role in xanthophyll cycle in green plants during photosynthesis and in human eye both of these act as antioxidants.
Animals obtain lutein by ingesting plants. In the human retina, lutein is absorbed from blood specifically into the macula lutea, although its precise role in the body is unknown. Lutein is also found in egg yolks and animal fats.

Benefits Of Lutein :
1. Benefits to eye health:Like most of carotenoids Luteine has also very positive effect on eye health. Along with zeaxanthin. lutein filters harmful high-energy, blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. Out of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only these two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye. The amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macular region of the retina is measured as macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Recently, MPOD has become a useful biomarker for predicting disease and visual function.Lutein and Cataracts:Oxidation of the lens of eye ( lens collects and focuses light on the retina) is major cause of cataracts which clouds the lens Being antioxidant nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin neutralize free radicals that are associated with oxidation of lens structures and retinal demage. This is why lutein and zeaxanthin play vital role in preventing cataracts.Lutein reduces risk of AMD (Age related macular degeneration ):Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin improve visual performance in AMD patients,Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur the sharp, central vision you need for activities like reading and driving. “Age-related” means that it often happens in older people. “Macular” means it affects a part of your eye called the macula

2. Cognitive Function:Cognitive function is a broad term that refers to mental processes involved in the acquisition of knowledge, manipulation of information, and reasoning. Cognitive functions include the domains of perception, memory, learning, attention, decision making, and language abilities. Lutein is considered to have a significant role in preserving neural efficiency. Researchers suggest lutein to slow down age-related cognitive decline and to recover damaged cognitive functions. Many researches in this regard are supporting a beneficial role of lutein on brain tissue and the importance of treatments for cognitive disorders.

3. Cardiovascular Health:Many studies in humans have provided evidence for a beneficial role of lutein in lowering the blood concentrations of inflammatory cytokines, while favoring the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines Researchers have also claimed lutein enriched foods or supplement may decrease the levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL). Other factors influencing atherosclerosis and CV risk, like lipid peroxidation and C-reactive protein serum concentrations, were shown to be reduced following lutein enriched diet or lutein supplementation.

4. Cancer Risk:After many studies and researches, fresh fruits and vegetables enriched with lutein like other antioxidants are considered as protective factors against cancers.

5. Lungs, Liver and Bone health:Following number of studies lutien is also consider aid to lungs, liver and bone health.
Following are good dietary sources of Lutien :

• Paprika
• Spinach
• Carrot
• Turnip greens
• Peppers
• Herbs
• Kale
• Basil
• Mustard leaves
• Corns
• Green peas
• Tomatoes
• Oranges
• Melons
• Mangoes
• Egg yolk


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28 Jan, 2021 Views: 918


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