Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important carotenoids, which are pigments produced by plants that give fruits and vegetables a yellow to reddish hue.
Both are potent antioxidants and offer a range of health benefits. However, lutein and zeaxanthin are best known for protecting your eyes.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants that defend your body against unstable molecules called free radicals. They also work to protect your eyes from free radical damage.
Support Eye Health
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only dietary carotenoids that accumulate in the retina, particularly the macula region, which is located at the back of your eye. They also act as a natural sunblock by absorbing excess light energy. They’re thought to especially protect your eyes from harmful blue light.
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against AMD progression to blindness.
- Cataracts: Cataracts are cloudy patches at the front of your eye. Eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may slow their formation.
- Diabetic retinopathy: In animal diabetes studies, supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin has been shown to reduce oxidative stress markers that damage the eyes.
- Eye detachment: Rats with eye detachments who were given lutein injections had 54% less cell death than those injected with corn oil.
- Uveitis: This is an inflammatory condition in the middle layer of the eye. Lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce the inflammatory process involved.
Lutein and zeaxanthin may help improve or reduce the progression of many eye conditions, but they may not reduce your risk of early onset age-related degeneration.
Protect Your Skin
Their antioxidant effects allow them to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Furthermore, lutein and zeaxanthin may protect your skin cells from premature aging and UVB-induced tumors.
Lutein and zeaxanthin work as supportive antioxidants in your skin. They can protect it from sun damage and may help improve skin tone and slow aging.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are widely recommended as dietary supplements to prevent visual loss or eye disease.
These supplements are especially popular among older adults who are concerned about failing eye health.
Supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can also improve your overall antioxidant status, which may offer greater protection against stressors.
Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements have become very popular among people concerned with their eye health but may also benefit those with poor dietary intake.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.