What is Lutein Supplement?
Lutein is a xanthophyll and carotenoid compound derived from African marigold petals (Tagetes erecta) that derives its name from the Latin word for yellow, luteus. Lutein-rich foods include dark-green leafy vegetables, yellow carrots, egg yolks, and animal fats. Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that supports healthy eyes, skin, and more.
What are Carotenoids?
Carotenoids are a member of a class of biological compounds that include beta-carotene (provitamin A), alpha-carotene, lycopene, and zeaxanthin Like many carotenoids, lutein is responsible for the red, orange, or yellow color of many foods. However, the green chlorophyll in some vegetables may mask it. It appears yellow at low concentrations and increases in pigment to orange and red at high concentrations. Lutein is also an antioxidant like alpha- and beta-carotene. It supports healthy cellular structure and function by mitigating reactive free radical molecules in the body. However, unlike alpha- and beta-carotene, the body cannot convert lutein into vitamin A.
Potential Lutein Benefits
Lutein for Eyes
Lutein plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision. Research shows that people with high concentrations of lutein have less risk of developing problems with their eyesight, such as cataracts. The macula in the retina of the eye absorbs lutein, where lutein then exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Lutein filters harmful blue and UV light that can damage eyesight over time. It also scavenges free radicals in the retina and reduces oxidative damage.
Lutein for Skin Health
Lutein exerts similar effects on the skin as it does on the eyes. It offers protection against UV radiation and can rebuff some of the damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Lutein can also attenuate the photoinduced oxidative damage caused by blue light and high-energy light sources. Research also shows lutein improves skin hydration and overall tone.
Lutein and Heart Health
Lutein’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may support heart health. Studies show that lutein supplements reduced several risk factors for developing heart conditions, such as lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improving insulin sensitivity, and enhancing lipid metabolism. Additional research noted that lutein reduced inflammation markers in individuals with heart health problems.
Potential Lutein Side Effects
The FDA granted lutein generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status, and it has no known side effects when taken in proper doses. However, exceeding the recommended dosage may cause headaches in some individuals.
PureBulk standardizes lutein powder to contain 5% lutein in a maltodextrin carrier. A 350mg dose yields 18mg of lutein. It is soluble in ethanol, acetone, and oil. It’s insoluble in water.