What is the role of lutein for health?

What is the role of lutein for health

Lutein – action Lutein, like other carotenoids, is very important in terms of nutrition, as it has a positive effect on human health. It has antioxidant properties (prevents the occurrence of oxidative stress), works against cancer and supports the proper functioning of the circulatory system. The results of studies conducted so far, which determine the health effects of lutein on the human body, suggest that it could reduce the risk of colon, lung and breast cancer. In addition, it has similar properties in relation to atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease, but these studies have not been unequivocal and require in-depth analysis.

Lutein, taken orally or as an ointment on the skin, prevents skin aging and the effects of sunlight or UV radiation. The most reliable sources emphasize the importance of eating lutein-rich foods to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration of the retina is currently a very serious health problem, occurring mainly in developed countries. This is due to the aging of the population, as the content of these compounds in the retina decreases with age. As a result, the rate of filtration of blue light that reaches the eyes is reduced (lutein reduces its intensity by 40-90%) and the antioxidant properties of these compounds are reduced. Under the influence of light, free radicals are formed, which are not sufficiently neutralized by these antioxidants. Frequent exposure to sunlight, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, diabetes and poor diet can also increase the risk of developing this disorder. To reduce the risk of developing AMD, it is recommended to consume large amounts of lutein in the daily diet, vitamins E, C and zinc. The dose of lutein ingested with diet is positively related to its content in the ocular macula. It is believed that the estimated daily intake of this compound to reduce the risk of developing AMD should not be less than 6 mg / day, and in developed countries it is often much lower, which has negative effects.

This compound dissolves well in fats, so it is worth eating products rich in lutein, vegetable fats to increase their absorption in the human digestive tract. It should be emphasized that humans and animals do not synthesize this compound in their body, which is why it is so important to provide it with a daily diet.

In order to provide the body with adequate doses of lutein, we must pay attention not only to the consumption of products rich in this compound, but also to the way of storing and processing the food that is its source. It should be noted that grinding, chopping and crushing does not reduce the lutein content of food, but increases its bioavailability. On the other hand, highly processed foods have a lower content of this compound than its raw. In addition, external lutein supplementation is considered to be necessary to prevent disease (especially of the eye), which provides the body with an adequate amount of lutein.

It is worth mentioning that most of the lutein is in the peel and outer layer of vegetables, so removing the outer leaves, such as cabbage, before eating vegetables takes away an important part of the valuable substance.

Undoubtedly, lutein plays a very important role in the human body. It is a basic compound that protects against macular degeneration and has a beneficial effect on other organs and systems. Unfortunately, its consumption through the diet is still too low, so the importance of vegetables and fruits in the human diet, which are the only source of this valuable compound, should still be emphasized.

Edyta Kwiatkowska Luteina – a source in the diet and a potential role for health.