What is Lutein? Lutein is a carotenoid, or naturally occurring pigment, found in dark green leafy vegetables. Lutein is an important compound in the human body, but one which is not produced by the body itself. Eating foods rich in the antioxidant lutein or taking lutein vitamin supplements is the only way your body can receive the lutein it needs. It may surprise you to know where to find lutein in you body. Lutein is present in the eye, blood serum, skin, brain, cervix and breast.
Lutein provides protection for our eyes and skin by reducing the effects of macular degeneration in the eye and by providing a supplemental antioxidant effect to our skin, ridding it of free radicals caused by exposure to the outside world. This is one of the main reasons lutein vitamins are so important in our daily lives, because lutein is an antioxidant that attacks the free radicals in our body, which are believed to cause many chronic illnesses. Lutein is also a vitamin for our skin in that it blocks sunlight’s blue-spectrum wavelengths, believed to induce oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals due to over exposure to the sun and even indoor lighting.
Research suggests that to benefit from lutein’s healthful and antioxidant fighting properties, a minimum of 6 to 10 mg is needed per day. If you want to know where to find lutein, look no further than the produce section of your local grocery store. Natural sources of lutein include green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, romaine, collards, and kale. Other natural sources include corn, broccoli, papaya, oranges, marigolds, and even eggs! But with today’s hectic and busy always-on-the-go lifestyle, many people do not get the required daily amount of lutein from these healthy foods. For ease and convenience, there are hundreds of sources of lutein in vitamin form, including many multivitamins and nutritional supplements, eye care formulas and contact lens solutions, and even crystallized lutein vitamins.