Lutein: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about lutein, a vitamin carotenoid essential for eye health.
In addition to preventing the development of eye diseases, lutein also has benefits for cardiovascular health, aids brain function, fights type II diabetes and prevents some types of cancer.
But lutein is not produced by the body, so it needs to be consumed through supplementation. In this article you will learn about the functions and benefits of this supplement. Good reading!
First, the most important
- The lutein supplement is found in liquid capsules. The concentration ranges from 5 to 25 mg per serving (one or two capsules), with the recommended daily dose ranging from 15 to 30 mg.
- Another substance present in this supplement is zeaxanthin, a carotenoid with functions and benefits complementary to lutein. The recommended daily dose is 6 mg.
- The lutein supplement can be enriched with vitamins A, C and E and with the minerals selenium, zinc and chromium.
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Do you know what lutein is for, what are the benefits of this substance, where to buy the supplement and how much does it cost? You can check this and other information in this Buying Guide.
What is lutein?
Lutein is one of the main carotenoids found in eye pigmentation. The substance is concentrated in the macula of the eye and is found in smaller amounts in the retina and optic nerve.
The pigment serves as a filter that controls the absorption of light and protects the eye tissues from damage caused by blue light. Lutein also protects the retina from sunlight.
In conjunction with other antioxidants, lutein serves to prevent eye diseases such as cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
In addition to being present in the eyes, lutein also makes up the skin, cervix, brain, breasts and blood, presenting benefits for all these areas of the body.
Our body does not produce lutein, so it is important to supplement.
But lutein is not produced by the body, so it is essential that you consume foods rich in this substance such as broccoli, kale, spinach, kiwi, grapes, corn, pumpkin and egg yolk.
It is also essential to include lutein supplementation. This supplement is found in the form of capsules and in different concentrations.
Some carotenoids have antioxidant function (lutein and zeaxanthin), while others provide vitamin A (beta-carotene). These substances are associated with the prevention of several diseases.
What are the health benefits of lutein for eye health?
Lutein has great antioxidant power, so it helps fight free radical damage in healthy cells, prevents oxidative stress and inflammation of various body systems.
This substance plays an important role in maintaining eye health. One of the benefits is to increase the thickness of the macula, a structure of the retina that helps to absorb excess blue light and ultraviolet rays.
Studies show that the increase in dietary levels of lutein, through the adoption of a supplement, can prevent and treat macular degeneration (which can cause loss of vision) and the incidence of cataracts, common in elderly people.
Other proven benefits of lutein are:
- Reduced eye fatigue.
- Reduced sensitivity to light glare.
- Strengthening of ocular tissue.
- Improvement in the quality of vision.
What are the benefits for the skin?
Lutein has many benefits for the skin. Starting with the antioxidant property that helps to preserve collagen and lipids (fats that make up the skin) from oxidative degeneration.
Another benefit is the protection against ultraviolet rays, which in addition to causing premature aging, can also cause the development of skin cancer.
The supplement also helps to strengthen the skin’s health, leaving it looking healthy, hydrated, with elasticity and homogeneous color. And in addition to the capsule supplement, you will also find topical lutein.
What are the other benefits of Lutein?
Below are some more benefits of using Lutein:
Lutein is the dominant carotenoid in the brain. The substance has several roles such as visual processing, aid in memory and learning.
Lutein is present in blood plasma, performing antioxidant functions beneficial to the cardiovascular system (heart, blood vessels and arteries).
One of these functions is to prevent the peroxidation of lipids and cholesterol in the blood, reducing the formation and accumulation of plaque in the blood vessels. Lutein also helps to prevent thickening of the artery walls, decreasing the risk or progression of atherosclerosis.
Helps in the treatment of diabetes
In addition to its antioxidant function, the lutein supplement helps to balance blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
Prevents the formation of malignant tumors
The antioxidant properties of lutein may be useful in preventing some cancers (cervical, colon and prostate). However, the substance has no benefit for other cancers.
- Assists in the prevention and treatment of eye diseases
- Liquid capsules are easier to ingest
- Some supplements are enriched with vitamins and minerals
- It has a very affordable price
- Most supplements offer a lower dosage than recommended per day
- The only form of presentation is capsules
Who should take lutein supplement?
Lutein supplementation is especially recommended for people of older age, as as we age, there is a reduction in lutein in the eye tissues.
The supplement is also indicated for people with blue eyes, smokers and women after menopause, as these groups tend to have lower levels of lutein in the body.
What is the recommended dose of lutein?
The prescription can vary from one person to another, but a daily dose between 15 and 30 mg is enough to bring great benefits, especially for eye health and vision.
The consumption of the supplement should be done preferably after meals. Tip: foods with good fats like oilseeds and olive oil improve the absorption process of lutein by the body.
How much does lutein cost?
The lutein supplement is sold in bottles of 60 capsules and the price is very affordable, ranging from R $ 30 to R $ 70. You can also find kits with two or more bottles for up to R $ 90.
Where to buy lutein?
You can find lutein in pharmacies, in natural product stores, handling pharmacies and supplement stores like Now Sports Nutrition.
If you prefer you can buy the product over the internet in stores like Amazon, among others.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare the different models of Lutein
Capsule lutein is an excellent alternative to supplement the daily needs of this substance. To choose the ideal supplement, review the following characteristics:
- Vitamins and minerals
We will explain each of the items throughout this section.
You find supplements with different levels of lutein concentration, from 5 to 25 mg per serving. As we mentioned earlier, the recommended daily dose varies from 15 to 30 mg, so look for supplements with a higher concentration.
And be aware, because some manufacturers put the total weight of the capsule as prominent information on the packaging, which can confuse some people, because they think that is the concentration of lutein.
Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid similar to lutein. Both substances have antioxidant properties and similar functions such as maintaining eye and skin health (although lutein is more complete).
Some lutein supplements are enriched with zeaxanthin, the concentration ranges from 1 to 5 mg per serving (the recommended daily dose is 6 mg).
Vitamins and minerals
The lutein supplement can be enriched with vitamins and minerals with complementary properties. Vitamin A is excellent for eyesight and vitamins C and E have antioxidant properties.
Selenium also has some important benefits such as heart strengthening, antioxidant action, prevention of degenerative diseases and some types of cancers.
Zinc fights free radicals, strengthens the heart, improves mental health, fights aging, among other benefits similar to those provided by lutein.
Generally, the lutein supplement is in liquid capsules. Lutein and other ingredients in the composition can be diluted in two types of oils: avocado oil and blackcurrant oil.
Black currant oil has the following benefits:
- Balances female hormones, prevents PMS symptoms and slows and menopause;
- It has antioxidant action;
- It has anti-inflammatory action;
- It improves the appearance of the skin, as it has omega 6, a fatty acid that is part of the skin structure.
Avocado oil also has numerous benefits: it helps with eye health, it is good for the skin and hair, it reduces blood pressure, strengthens the cardiovascular system, prevents some types of cancer, reduces inflammatory processes, helps in the absorption of nutrients, weight loss, among others.
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