Lutein for eye health: Here are some benefits to protect your eyes from damage

Carotenoids like lutein can protect our vision and enable us to see the world in its full glory. Get to know the benefits of lutein for eye health.
Purvi Kalra Updated: 24 Nov 2023, 04:11 pm IST
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In a country where over 62 million people grapple with visual impairment, prioritising eye health is not just an option, it’s a necessity. Among the various nutrients essential for optimal eye health, lutein, a potent carotenoid with anti-inflammatory properties, stands out as a beacon of hope. Read on to know the origin and benefits of lutein for eye health.

Lutein belongs to the carotenoid family, a group of antioxidants that reside in the cells of plants, bestowing upon them their vibrant colours, Dr. Sri Ganesh, an ophthalmology expert, tells Health Shots.

Demystifying the power of lutein, a nutrient for perfect vision

Unlike other carotenoids, lutein and its close companion, zeaxanthin, hold a unique distinction. They are the only carotenoids found in the human retina, specifically in the macula region, the central hub of vision. This strategic positioning highlights the significance of lutein in maintaining our ability to see the world clearly and forever, says the expert.

lutein for eye health
Get to know the many benefits of lutein in protecting your vision. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the benefits of lutein for the eyes?

Lutein’s contributions to eye health extend far beyond its presence in the macula. It acts as a guardian angel for your eyes, offering a plethora of health benefits:

1. Inflammation suppression

Lutein’s antioxidant prowess helps to quell inflammation, which is a silent saboteur of eye health.

2. Free radical defense

It serves as a formidable shield against the relentless attacks of free radicals, safeguarding the delicate tissues of the eye from oxidative damage, says the expert.

3. Vision sharpness enhancement

Lutein can enhance the sharpness of vision, making it easier to discern details and enjoy the world in high definition.

4. Protects against sunlight

Lutein acts as a natural sunscreen for the eyes, shielding them from the harmful effects of sunlight’s ultraviolet rays, according to the experts.

5. Light signal conversion

This remarkable nutrient plays a crucial role in converting light signals into electrical signals within the retina, enabling the transmission of visual information to the brain.

6. Safeguards against eye problems

Lutein and zeaxanthin have demonstrated promise in protecting against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and dry eye disease, safeguarding the vision from threats of these age-related ailments, says Dr Ganesh.

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lutein for eye health
Certain leafy greens like kale or spinach are rich in lutein that can safeguard our vision!

Lutein’s targeted impact on eye conditions

Lutein also offers protection against specific eye conditions:

1. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) protection

Lutein and zeaxanthin in combination may slow the progression of AMD, a major cause of blindness.

2. Diabetic retinopathy

Lutein and zeaxanthin may reduce the levels of oxidative stress markers associated with diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that can lead to vision loss.

3. Cataract

Individuals with low lutein intake may be at a higher risk of developing cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s lens.

4. Dry eye disease

Lutein may alleviate symptoms of dry eye disease, offering respite from discomfort and temporary blurriness.

Food sources of lutein

Here are some readily available Indian foods to boost your lutein intake and protect your eyes:

1. Leafy greens

Kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, parsley, and leeks are all excellent sources of lutein.

2. Other sources

Egg yolks, red pepper, corn, durum wheat, einkorn wheat, pumpkin, oranges, tomatoes, and pistachios also contribute significantly to lutein intake.

The importance of eyes can’t be ignored, and lutein can help to preserve its function. All you have to do is look for vegetables and fruits that are full of lutein.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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