Institute for Natural Health Protection Are you getting enough lutein?

2023-07-21 13:57:29

Dear friend, dear friend,

For a long time, nutritionists were only interested in the broad categories of nutrients that make up our diet.

These are the Macronutrients.

And you know them by heart: they are carbohydrates or sugars, lipids or fats and proteins.(1).

Carbohydrates and fats provide you with energy while proteins serve a lot for structure and metabolism.

Today, nutrition is paying close attention to micronutrients.

And we realize that they are also essential for the proper functioning of the body, even when they are only present or consumed in very small quantities.

Among these micronutrients that we are talking about more and more, there is lutein.

It is essential for the health of your eyes, and your retina in particular.

The retina is the interface between exterior and interior

The human being has five senses from which he benefits at birth when all is well.

The eyes are used to see of course but also to memorize what surrounds you.

The eye receives the images upside down and the retina puts them right side up.(1).

The retina is a thin membrane that covers most of the inner surface of the eyeball(2,3).

Basically, it is she who holds the eye.

The retina is also a neurosensory tissue. It is she who makes the link between the eye and the brain(2,3).

It contains cells called photoreceptors(4,5).

They capture light rays and transmit the information to the central nervous system.

At the back of the eye, there is a specific area of ​​the retina called the macula lutea. It is she who controls your visual acuity during the day(6).

Lutein is especially helpful to the macula and retina.

A pigment with powerful antioxidant power

Lutein is a pigment, that is to say an organic substance responsible for the color of plants and especially fruits and vegetables.(7).

It is more precisely a carotenoid in the same way as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene or zeaxanthin(7).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are useful for the eyes.

These two pigments bring a yellow color to food(7).

Lutein is, first and foremost, an antioxidant(8).

It protects the eye from sun rays as well as blue light from screens(9).

It is therefore essential for all those whose hobbies or work could require them to stay in front of their phone or computer for a long time…

Lutein also protects your eyes from macular degeneration, an age-related disease that is one of the leading causes of low vision in older people.(10).

Consuming lutein regularly is therefore a simple and effective way to preserve your visual acuity.

A more global action for your organization

Your eyes aren’t the only ones to benefit from the antioxidant power of lutein.

Lutein is also useful for (11,12):

  • neutralize free radicals your organization;
  • prevent chronic diseases ;
  • strengthen your immune system ;
  • increase your cognitive functionsincluding memory and reflection;
  • protect your dementia brain and senility;
  • warn some cancers ;
  • reduce inflammation of epithelial cells which constitute the membrane of blood vessels;
  • increase the mobility ;
  • improve your endurance ;
  • protect and hydrate the skin.

These benefits are excellent, especially for the elderly, who thanks to lutein keep a sharp mind, a tough body and an active immunity.

However, young people should not neglect lutein either!

It is good for the brain, the memory, the reflection: it is excellent for exams, competitions, learning and studies in general(11) !

It is also useful for athletes and vacationers whose skin could be exposed to the sun.

Where to find lutein?

The body cannot produce this micronutrient.

So you have to get it from your diet(7).

Most yellow or orange fruits and vegetables contain lutein.

This is the case, for example, of peppers, lemons or the skin of bananas, which can be eaten.

But it’s the leafy green vegetables that give you the most.

And even the green pepper counts more than the yellow, orange or red peppers(13).

The four champions are(11) :

  • spinach (12 mg per 100g);
  • sweet potato leaves (14 mg per 100 g);
  • turnip leaves and tops (13 mg per 100 g);
  • watercress (12 mg per 100g)

But you will also find it in kale, chicory, lettuce and salads of all kinds, peas or squash.

You will also find it in egg yolk(7,11).

To improve the assimilation of lutein, you can consume these foods with vegetable oils.

Olive oil or avocado oil are excellent for example(11).

Indeed, lutein is lipophilic: it melts into fat.

With a good olive oil from Provence or Greece, the lutein from your vegetables will be even better absorbed by your intestine.

Should you supplement with lutein and is there a limit?

Your level of lutein in the body directly depends on your consumption of foods that contain it.

Thus a 2018 study, published in the scientific journal Nutrients found that Americans consumed an average of less than 2 mg per day of lutein, Koreans were around 3 mg while Fijians were at 25 mg(14).

The study explains that this is due to the diet of Fijians who consume a lot of fruits and vegetables.

There are few studies indicating side effects related to lutein.

In excess, that is to say beyond 20 mg per day, it could darken the skin and prevent the absorption of certain nutrients.

That said, many people in the West fall far short of that figure!

However, if your diet is rich in leafy vegetables and you consume fruit, there is no reason for you to take lutein supplements!

Your protective diet is enough for you.

Do not hesitate, if you have the courage, to eat vegetables at all meals, including breakfast!

Naturally yours,

Augustine of Livois

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#Institute #Natural #Health #Protection #lutein

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