Lutein is a carotenoid, as the alpha, beta-carotene and lycopene. It’s always accompanied by small amounts of other carotenoids with a similar properties, such as zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin.
It has an intense orange color and can be found very colorful vegetables such as carrots, spinach and especially in red cabbage. It is mainly extracted from Calendula officinalis. In the ”white” less coloured salads Lutein is not found.
The idea that nutrition can have a positive affect over the visual function and prevent many diseases is not new. Already in 1782 Buzzi identified the yellow macula and in particular back in 1886 Schulze suggested that the yellow pigments could lead to improvements in human vision. These pigments were then studied and later derived from lutein and zeaxanthin. Walls and Judd in 1933 speculated that these pigments could improve intraocular visual performance. Lutein is a xanthophyll, the chemical formula is C₄₀H₅₆O₂, corresponding to that of beta-carotene with two hydroxyl groups in the terminal rings. The Lutein along with it’s isomer Zeaxanthin, is present in an elective form in the retina, also in the macula lutea (hence the name) as well as in the lens (1).
The activities ascribed to Lutein and Zeaxanthin are many and among them include the main antioxidant – anti-radical and protection of the ocular structures from harmful light radiation. In the
literature it is reported that lutein increases the macular pigment density and performs a protection action with two synergistic mechanisms. On one hand through the absorption of the blue light
before it reaches the photoreceptors; on the other hand thanks to the quenching effect that determines the neutralisation of singlet oxygen and other free radicals (4.5). They also represent a protective factor against skin cancer, cervical cancer and breast cancer.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are widely used as adjuvants in the prevention and as treatment of macular degenerative diseases such as the dry form of AMD (6). It also seems that they can play an
important role in protecting the eyes of the newborn from the ravages of intense light (7).
It was seen that in children with a history of ROP it is common to find retinal thinning, widespread hypopigmentation or pigment flecks in the macula which are indicators of an inefficient accumulation or loss of lutein and zeaxanthin, therefore the absence of the antioxidant protection in these important micronutrients (7).
Other studies have shown that lutein, administered to infants, increases the levels of biological antioxidants (BAP) and reduces radicalemia rates (TH). The increase in the plasma antioxidant
activity protects the infant from perinatal (13) oxidative stress (OS). Based on preliminary data from a multicenter RCT, infants with low birth weight (WLBW) supplemented with lutein / zeaxanthin are shown to more tolerant and associated with a lower incidence of threshold ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity), NEC (enterocolitis Necrotizing) and BPT (Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia). This trend
requires a of a case study for further confirmation, but the results of the study assumptions anticipate that carotenoids are important nutrients for reducing the severity of oxidative stress (14). The positive results of the eye test study sought to assess the development, the ability and the visual function of preterm infants between 33 and 36 weeks, with index apgar> 7, fed with breastmilk substitutes (infant formulas) with and without supplementation of lutein, they seem to confirm the antioxidant and protective properties of lutein in the development of the retina, particularly in the premature infant. All tests made with the ENP, has been evaluated in fact greater track repeatability and a better morphology in the patients supplemented with lutein, due to a more harmonious and rapid development of visual function in the newborns integrated than in the placebo group (15 , 16).
The body is unable to synthesize Lutein and Zeaxanthin, are therefore assumed only through food. They pass through the placenta (2.3), they are also present in higher concentrations than those of other carotenoids, in the breast milk and in particular colostrums (2.3). They are also present the umbilical cord and various studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between levels of lutein in the mothers plasma and those of the child shortly after birth (8). It should also be noted that the lutein and carotenoids plasma concentrations in the first four / six months of life are very low (9). This is due to the fact that the diet of the newborn not consume any solid elements (such as leafy green vegetables), which is the only sources of this micronutrient.
Breastfeeding is very important as it allows the baby to take up Lutein and Zeaxanthin from the first days of life until the weaning period which takes place when the fovea maturing process (foveation) (12). Also, since the plasma levels of lutein in the breastfeeding woman and those of breast-fed infant they are related (2), it is crucial that, during the period of breastfeeding, the woman follows a variated diet with a high intake of Lutein and Zeaxanthin, making sure to integrate these elements, to ensure their availability to the child. Babies fed with formula milk have an lower average of lutein plasma levels than children fed with breast milk (10). In fact the different milk formulas for babies currently available on the market are devoid of carotenoids (11). So it’s therefore desirable to supplement the infants who are fed milk formula, with lutein and zeaxanthin in order to prevent deficiency.
Studies made during the recent years has revealed extraordinarily interesting properties when it comes to maintaining the vision in the elderly. Fighting cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye, which have become the leading causes of blindness in the US.
Its consumption is also associated with a decreased incidence of serious diseases such as cervix cancer , breast cancer, lung cancer as well as cardiovascular dysfunctions.
Lutein powerful antioxidant like carotenes, vitamin C, selenium, lycopene and bioflavonoids. Clearly all these nutrients are not interchangeable, as each fights and destroys a specific sector of the numerous free radicals that, as everyone knows by now, are the root cause of the body’s degeneration and diseases, like the ones mentioned,cancer, cardiovascular dysfunction vascular (stroke, heart attacks etc.), also arthritis and accelerated ageing (premature ageing of all organs). Lutein is the cognate substance to zeaxanthin which is the only carotenoid found in the eye. They have a fast and powerful affect over the eye sight. Most people of a certain age have at least a bit ’hazy eye sight if not also other problems. This “haze” may be different depending on each case so everyone might not experience the same quick effect from the lutein, but to experience within a weeks time that this mist clears it is very pleasant.
The beneficial effects for the skin emerge from the clinical study ” Beneficial long-term effects of combined oral / topical antioxidant treatment with carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on human skin”: A double-blinded, placebo -controlled study in humans’1 coordinated by Professor Pierfrancesco Morganti, Department of Dermatology, University ‘of Naples, and published this year in the scientific journal “Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.”
The goal of the study – a randomised, double-blind, with group placebo control – and ‘it was to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment oral, local and the combination of oral and local treatment with lutein and zeaxanthin in healthy women with age ‘between 25 and 50 years (avrage age-
35 years old), with different skin types and signs of premature skin ageing.The study has shown that a daily intake of 10 mg for 12 weeks of FloraGLO Lutein, a lutein purified and used accordantly to the patent studies, not only increases the photo-protective activity but also the
hydration, the lipid levels and the skin elasticity, while decreasing lipica peroxidation, a marker indicating the skin damage caused by exposure to light.In particular, in the group taking lutein, the photo-protective activity on the skin increased by 2.5 times.
In addition, during the study, the skin elasticity increased by 56% was showed compared to baseline, while skin moisturising raised by 60%.
Finally, the results of the study revealed a positive and significant effect on the skin lipid levels, with an increase of 46% in the group with patients who received lutein as a supplement to their diet. Following the FloraGLO Lutein advice with the combined oral and topical treatment supplements and body lotion containing lutein applied directly to the skin, the beneficial effects on the skin were even more evident.
According to studies, the Italian diet provides only 4 mg per day of lutein and
zeaxanthin. To increase these levels of consumption, it is recommended to consume more fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage or broccoli – particularly rich in lutein (1) For the 74% of the Italian population it’s essential to follow a well balanced diet rich in vitamins.
Lutein is an antioxidant which hinders particularly lipid peroxidation. Therefore prevents the genes which are circulating in our blood to be altered by free radicals and then deposited in various organs in which (such the eyes) and can so cause considerable damage.
Recent studies have established that a dose of 6 mg (milligrams) per day of lutein administered for a long period to a group of elderly with the method of the double-blindness, decreased the risk of getting macular degeneration by as much as 43%.
I do not think that the damage caused by this degeneration can be recovered if not in small part, but in all likelihood, by acting with a wide range of bio-regulators and obviously with lutein, I think we can stop their otherwise inevitable progress. The same applies to the cataracts. In an experiment conducted on fifty thousand women, it had been recommended daily consumption of spinach. Unlike other vegetables, spinach which contains a lot of lutein instead of beta carotene. After eight years, the results showed a much lower incidence of cataracts in respects of who had consumed little lutein during same period of time. Lutein focuses specifically in the eye on the macular area and the lenses (crystalline). It is believed that it manages to filter out the penetrating ultraviolet rays, which are a major cause to the formation of free radicals.
Lutein is also concentrated in the breast, lung and cervix. His presence seems to lead to a lower incidence of cancer in these organs.
A person who eats normal doses of vegetables introduces an average of about 3 mg of lutein per day. At this level of lutein (bioflavonoids and wine) is credited with a much lower incidence of heart disease found among people of Toulouse (France) in comparison with the inhabitants of Belfast (Ireland) who do not drink wine and eat few vegetables , with a level of lutein introduced to about 1 mg per day (Monica project of the World Health Organization).
The inhabitants of Fiji take on about 20 mg per day of lutein: even if they smoke a lot have a level of lung cancer much less than that found in other Polynesian islands, where instead it consumes little lutein, but smoke just as much. In conclusion, 3 mg per day, as mentioned, is the level of lutein introduced by those who eat fruits and vegetables in the normal way. 6 to 10 mg a day is the recommended level. Even higher doses do not give any discomfort as lutein has no toxicity: compared to the benefits it can give should exaggerate in doses rather than introduce an insufficient quantity.
Lutein focus also on the breasts, lungs and cervix. The presence of this substance seems to lead to a lower incidence of tumors in these organs.
A person who consumes a normal amount of vegetables introduces an average of about 3 mg of lutein per day. At this level of lutein (bioflavonoids and wine) is credited with a much lower incidence of heart disease found among people of Toulouse (France) in comparison with the inhabitants of Belfast (Ireland) who do not drink wine and eat few vegetables , with a level of lutein introduced to about 1 mg per day (Monica project – the World Health Organization).
The inhabitants of Fiji take on about 20 mg per day of lutein: even if they smoke a lot have a level of lung cancer much less than that found in the Polynesian islands, where instead it consumes little lutein, but smoke equally as much. In conclusion, 3 mg per day, as mentioned, is the lutein level introduced by those who consumes fruits and vegetables in the ”normal” amounts. However 6 to 10 mg a day is the recommended level of daily intake. Even higher doses do not give any discomfort as lutein has no toxicity: especially compared to the benefits it can give with an exaggerated amount rather than an insufficient intake.
It ‘a carotenoid, as the alpha and beta-carotene and lycopene. It is ‘always it accompanied by small amounts of other carotenoids with similar properties, such as zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin. It has an intense orange color. It is located in the very colorful vegetables such as carrots, spinach and especially in cabbage leaves with reddish. It is extracted mainly from Calendula officinalis. It is not found in “white” salads.
It is was studied in recent years, and has revealed extraordinarily interesting properties for the maintenance of vision in the elderly. Fights cataracts and macular degeneration of the eye, which has become the leading cause of blindness in the US
Its consumption is also associated with a decreased incidence of serious diseases such as cancer of the cervix, breast and lung cancer and cardiovascular dysfunction. It ‘a powerful antioxidant as carotenes, vitamin C, selenium, lycopene, bioflavonoids. Of course all these products are not interchangeable, as each fights and destroys a specific sector of the numerous free radicals that, as everyone knows by now, are the root cause of the degeneration of the body and diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular dysfunction vascular (stroke, heart attacks etc.), of arthritis, of accelerated aging (premature aging of all organs).
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids similar in the eye. Their action on the view is fast and powerful: all people of a certain age (at least!) The view a bit ‘hazy. Will not happen at all, because the causes of this “haze” may be different, but see in a week that this mist clears it is very pleasant.
According to the study ‘Beneficial long-term effects of combined oral / topical treatment with antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin on human skin:
A double-blinded, placebo-controlled study in humans’ published recently, daily intake of lutein increases elasticity ‘, lipid levels and hydration of the epidermis. In general, this antioxidant helps
to improve the health of the skin and minimizes the signs of premature skin ageing. In agreement with the survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan in Europe this year, the
38.6% of Italian (and 35% of the general population) knows of lutein. The potent carotenoid antioxidant found in fruits and green leafy vegetables is already known for its beneficial effect on the eyes, is now recognized also for it’s benefits on the skin. Hydration is considered the first feel-good factor in terms of the skin, this accordingly to 68% of the population and the 72% of Italian gives great importance to delay premature skin ageing.
The survey was commissioned by Kemin Health Europe, the company which produces FloraGLO Lutein, purified lutein identical to that found in green leafy vegetables and used accordingly to the existing patent studies on the subject. It’s possesses great health benefits the eyes as well as according to recent studies, helps maintain youthful skin. The human body does not naturally produce lutein and therefore a daily intake is necessary. Once absorbed lutein is deposited in various organs of the human body, particularly in the skin and the eyes. By blocking the production of free radicals generated by harmful sunlight and absorbing blue high-energy light it can protect the retina from oxidation. Today known as one of the recognized risk factors associated with certain eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration. In addition, the intake of lutein also protects the skin from the oxidative action due to time and sun rays, in this way preserving the skins elasticity and hydration.
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