Facts About Lutein and Zeaxanthin - Food Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
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Facts About Lutein and Zeaxanthin - Food Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Facts about Lutein and Zeaxanthin – Food Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Lutein Macular Degeneration. Lutein for the Eyes. Health Benefits of Lutein. Zeaxanthin with Lutein. Lutein and AMD. Lutein and Zeaxanthin have many eye health benefits.

Introduction: Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two carotenoids of the xanthophyll family of carotenoids. Xanthophyll is a yellow carotenoid pigments found in plants, animal fats and in egg yolks. Lutein and Zeaxanthin both carotenoids have yellow pigments and can be found in yellow color foods and in other colored foods as well. Lutein can be found in dark green vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, kale etc and Zeaxanthin can be found in corn, orange peppers, oranges, and tangerines etc. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are extremely important for human eye. These two found in both the macula and lens of the eyes. Because of the fact that Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids, both of these are powerful antioxidants.

Functions of Lutein and Zeaxanthin – Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Most important function of Lutein and Zeaxanthin is they protect eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. The eyes are repositories for carotenoids with lutein and zeaxanthin concentrated in the retina and lens. Lutein and Zeaxanthin reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and increase macular pigment density (MPD), which is an important factor in the health of the macula and the retina. Carotenoids are good for the eye and promote eye health. They protect the eyes form light-induced oxidative damage. Lutein has the ability to filter out UV light especially blue wavelengths of light which can damage the retina over time.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin play an important role in skin health. They protect skin from excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. UV rays are bad for the skin and cause inflammation in skin cells, and erythema (abnormal redness of the skin). Lutein and Zeaxanthin prevent cellular damage and intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin reduces skin damage significantly.

Carotenoid intake also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Oxidized LDL causes atherosclerosis and which can lead to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (relating to the brain and the blood vessels) disease. Carotenoids remove free radicals and reduce lipid peroxidation. Intake of foods rich in Lutein and Zeaxanthin lowers the chances of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Consumption of carotenoid containing fruits and vegetables was associated with decreased risk of lung cancer. So Lutein and Zeaxanthin are very important in the prevention of lung cancer.

Food Sources of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in various fruits, vegetables and root vegetables. Given below is the list of foods that contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin.

• Kale

• Spinach

• Turnip Greens

• Collard Greens

• Romaine Lettuce

Broccoli

• Zucchini

• Carrots

• Mango

• Papaya

• Garden Peas

• Brussels Sprouts

• Corn

• Winter Squash

• Oranges

• Peaches

• Prunes

• Egg Yolks

Besides these Marigold flower does contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in Lycium Chinese Mill (LCM berries) too.

Deficiency Symptoms of Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Long term low intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin can lead to heart disease and various cancers. Also, low intake of carotenoids makes the body more susceptible to damage from free radicals. Free radical damage can also lead to heart disease and cancer and other chronic disease as well.

People who smoke or consume alcohol regularly and have a diet low in fruits and vegetables may need more Lutein and Zeaxanthin for better health.

Sources:

ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/jecfa/cta/CTA_63_Zeaxanthin.pdf

http://www.mdsupport.org/library/lutzean.html

http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/.fulltext/10/2/128.pdf

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Good.

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