What You Need to Know About Lutein for Eyes - HSF Nutra

Check out What and How Lutein for Eyes

It is found that taking 6 mg of lutein per day led to a 43% lower risk for eyes disease, lutein is important for the protection of human eyes.

The word lutein comes from the Latin word “Lutea”, which means yellow. Lutein is a type of carotenoid, which found in many fruits and leafy green vegetables. Lutein is the main component of retinal pigment and is an indispensable “element” of the eye, and lutein cannot be synthesized by the body itself, but only through external supplementation and daily dietary intake, therefore the intake of proper lutein supplement every day is necessary!

The distribution of lutein in the human body is mainly in these two parts:

 

  • the retina and macula
  • the crystalline lens.
the retina and macula-why lutein is good for eyes

What and how the lutein does for retina and macula?

The macula is an oval-shaped pigmented area near the center of the retina of human eyes. The human eye is like a photocopier that gathers many light-sensitive cells. The macula of the retina transmits colors and images from the center of the visual field to the brain in a time. Lutein is like the toner in a photocopier, if the toner in the photocopier is gone, no images can be copied.

Further, the lutein contained in the lens and macula of the retina also filters out the blue light from the sun to prevent damage to the eyes from blue light. The blue light entering human eyes will produce a large number of free radicals, which will cause cataracts or degeneration of the macula. Therefore, once the human body is deficient in lutein, aging retinal macular degeneration, cataract, astigmatism, presbyopia, pseudomyopia, and visual fatigue will occur.

Among them, age-related retinal macular degeneration and cataract are the two most common eye diseases in the elderly, and are also the main causes of blindness in the elderly. This shows that lutein is particularly important for the protection of human eyes.

Lutein and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a medical condition that may lead to blurred or no vision in the center of the visual field.

Dr. Johanna M. Seddon from Harvard University and associates found that taking 6 mg of lutein per day led to a 43% lower risk for macular degeneration.[1]

Dr.Seddon concludes that increasing the consumption of lutein may decrease the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He also writes in his book Overcoming Macular Degeneration, lutein is particularly important because it can be absorbed and transported in relatively large quantities to the macula and the lens of the eye.

Lutein and Myopia

Myopia is considered to be one of the most prevalent eye disorders around the world, especially among Asian children. It is estimated that around 80–90% school students are affected by myopia in this region, among whom 10–20% suffer from high myopia [2].

Although myopia is not often considered as a serious eye disorder since vision can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses,it may increase the risk of other ocular pathologies such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, and lacquer cracks[3].

Hyaluronic acid is a space-filling and water-retaining substance within the vitreous humor in the eyes, which plays a significant role in light refraction. The ability of hyaluronic acid to improve myopia-related outcomes was demonstrated by both animal and clinical studies. A guinea pig study showed that injectable biomimetic hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel could control the progression of myopia without compromising retinal functions [4]. This evidence may provide clues concerning the benefits of lutein for myopic individuals due to its ability in promoting hyaluronic acid synthesis, which is shown to be protective against myopia.

Lutein and Myopia-why lutein good for eyes

Lutein and Cataract

Cataract is one of the most common age-related eye diseases. It is characterized by the opacification or clouding of lens, which reduces the amount of light passing through to reach the retina, resulting in blurred vision.

The major reason why this cloudiness occurs is over-exposure to oxidation, which is why the antioxidant property of lutein is so essential.

Lutein and Cataract-why lutein is good for eyes

The reason that lutein helps protect the eyes are mainly because it can absorb the harmful blue light and its antioxidant properties protect the retina from harmful free radicals. For people who are already suffering from eye damage, include dry eyes, digital eye strain, and eye retina damage, an increased consumption of lutein can prevent the condition from progressing any further and leading to additional damage.

Reference

[1] Johanna M. Seddon et al, 1994, Journal of American Medical Association 272:1413-20.

[2] Morgan, I.G.; Ohno-Matsui, K.; Saw, S.M. Myopia. Lancet 2012, 379, 1739–1748.

[3] Saw, S.M.; Gazzard, G.; Shih-Yen, E.C.; Chua, W.H. Myopia and associated pathological complications.Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 2005, 25, 381–391.

[4] Garcia, M.; Jha, A.K.; Healy, K.E.;Wildsoet, C. A soft hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel can control myopia progression in guinea pigs. Investig. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014, 55, 4632.