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Lutein for Eye Health

Lutein is concentrated in the macula, a small area of the retina responsible for central vision.  Lutein helps keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress and the high-energy photons of blue light. Several studies  show that an increase in macula pigmentation decreases the risk for eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The only randomized clinical trial to demonstrate a benefit for lutein in Macular Degeneration was a small study, in which the authors concluded that visual function is improved with lutein alone or lutein together with other nutrients and also that more study was needed. Lutein may also play a role in Haidinger's brush, an entoptic phenomenon that allows humans to detect polarized light.

 While no recommended daily allowance currently exists for lutein as for other nutrients, positive effects have been seen at dietary intake levels of 610 mg/day. The only definitive side effect of excess lutein consumption is bronzing of the skin (carotenodermia).

Lutein is a naturally-occurring carotenoid. Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale. It's also found in egg yolks, animal fats.

Some foods are considered good sources of the nutrients:

Product Lutein/zeaxeathanin (micrograms per hundred grams)
kale 18200
spinach 12198
garden peas 2593
zucchini 2125
Brussels sprouts 1590
Pistachio nuts 1205
broccoli 1121
Maize/corn 644
kiwifruit 122
turnip greens  
romaine lettuce  
collard greens  



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