Lutein is a naturally-occurring carotenoid that is found in some plants. It helps to promote good health of eyes. Here’s some information about the health benefits of lutein supplement along with the side effects for the same.
Lutein is a member of the carotenoid family. It is a naturally occurring fat-soluble pigment that is synthesized by some plants. It is the presence of lutein that imparts a yellow or orange color to certain foods. It not only gives color to these foods, but also provides several health benefits. Though lutein is present in several fruits and vegetables, some people prefer to take a lutein supplement to keep their eyes in a good condition. Lutein is present in the macula, which is a small yellowish central area of the retina that is rich in cones. The macula is responsible for a clear detailed vision and is also responsible for the good health of the eye’s photoreceptor cell layer.
Lutein is present in carrots, sweet corn, orange, pepper, broccoli, zucchini, spinach and other dark-green leafy vegetables. If your diet is not providing you with adequate amounts of lutein, you could take the synthetic form of lutein to promote good health of your eyes and the skin. Lutein is also known for its antioxidant properties. It protects the body from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are generally responsible for causing cell damage, cell death and DNA alteration.
Lutein acts like a light filter. It filters high energy blue wavelengths of light which are responsible for damaging eye tissues. It is believed to prevent macular degeneration, thereby lowering the risk of cataracts. It also helps in keeping the arteries in good condition and lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes the thickening of the arteries.
Though the benefits of lutein are numerous, you must not make it a habit to pop these pills on a daily basis. Lutein does protect your eyes, skin and heart, but overdosing on it can have adverse repercussions on your health. Some of the side effects of an overdose are indigestion, chest pain, heartburn, blurred vision, dizziness, irritated eyes and skin discoloration. Pregnant women and nursing mothers must be very careful about the dosage. An overdose of this supplement might lead to its accumulation in the human body. When lutein is taken in its natural form, the assimilation process is controlled.
Many nutritional experts are of the opinion that it is better to take a lutein-rich diet instead of taking it in the form of supplements. When taken in the form of a supplement, lutein might deposit inside the eyes. Sometimes, the intake of a supplement might also interfere in the process of absorption of beta-carotene and cause health problems. If you still wish to take these supplements, take the one that is prescribed by your doctor. Make sure that you look for a brand that does not contain any preservative or added colors. If you are taking this supplement for your eyes, do buy a supplement that contains zeaxanthin and zinc.
This was a brief overview on lutein pills. If you are suffering from a lutein deficiency and your diet doesn’t include adequate amounts of lutein, you could take these supplements. As is the case with any supplement, an overdose can pose health risks. So, take it as per the prescribed dosage.