Myth Buster: Lutein Only Benefits Your Eyes

June 25, 2019

Sara Uffelman

Sara is a community activist for Memory Health®.  After taking the formula at the recommendation of a friend, she became hooked on the boost of focus, clarity, energy and creativity she felt.  The more she learned about the powerful ingredients in Memory Health, the more she felt compelled to share this information with others.

MYTH BUSTER: Lutein ONLY Benefits Your Eyes 

The carotenoid Lutein, commonly referred to as the "eye vitamin", is making its scene beyond eye health. While it widely known that Lutein is proven to benefit your eye health, reduce risks of age-related macular degeneration, and prolong the onset of cataracts, researchers believe they have only just scratched the surface of Lutein's health-promoting benefits. Nearly 100 peer-reviewed published papers involving 400,000 individuals confirmed that higher lutein consumption can reduce the risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome. Even more recently, Lutein has increasingly been linked to cognitive benefits, long-term brain health, and Alzheimer's Disease. At first this may sound curious, but the eyes and brain are so tightly connected that it actually makes perfect sense. In fact, Lutein has now been found to not only exist in the retina, but in the actual brain as well!  Only 3 carotenoids exist in the brain: Lutein (L), Zeaxanthin (Z), and Meso-Zeaxanthin (MZ).  When combined, their antioxidant effects become even more powerful and their benefits even more pronounced!

What is Lutein?

Lutein is a powerful plant-based pigment known as a carotenoid (a fancy word for nutrient) that can be found in leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and peppers. Even though Lutein is a small pigment, it has big antioxidant benefits. It neutralizes dangerous free radicals, reduces oxidative stress, and lowers inflammation in both the eyes and the brain.  Due to it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, Lutein has now been linked to improvements in brain health, cognitive function, memory, and even mood!  Studies have shown the three carotenoids L, Z, and MZ to have memory-enhancing effects when taken daily, as well as an impact on cognitive function.  Further studies show that individuals with high concentrations of carotenoids in their brain demonstrate much better cognitive functions, and that patients with Alzheimer's disease are actually deficient in these nutrients.

Adding Lutein to your every day diet

As I've mentioned, Lutein is a plant based pigment. It is responsible for the yellow colors of fruits and vegetables, and is present in the highest quantities in dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli.  We are all born with a certain amount of lutein in our eyes and brain, but here's the kicker: Our bodies don't reproduce Lutein and it is up to us to acquire more of it through our diets. This is particularly difficult in 2019; our food sources are over farmed, over manufactured, and declining every year in nutritional value.  According to USDA data, 1 Bowl of Spinach in 1953 has the same nutritional value as over 43 Bowls of Spinach today. That's an 84% loss of nutrition!  What this means is that even with a healthy diet we don't receive Lutein and the other carotenoids Z and MZ in the quantities our eyes and brains need.  Consuming carotenoids through your diet is one way to obtain them, but you may also try fortifying your diet with supplements.

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