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Introduction

In the world of micronutrients, there are some whose importance has only been fully recognized in recent decades. One of these wonderful molecules is lutein, a carotenoid that plays a central role in our health, especially when it comes to the eyes. But it is far more than just a nutrient for the eyes. In this in-depth article, we look at its discovery, its many uses, dosages, supplements and foods that support it, as well as possible side effects.

Lutein: the discovery

The history of lutein does not begin with a sudden discovery, but with the gradual realization of its importance. It was first isolated from green leaves at the beginning of the 20th century, but its importance to human health, particularly eye health, was not recognized until many decades later. Researchers discovered that it is an important component of the macula, the part of the eye responsible for sharp central vision. This discovery led to a flood of studies looking at the potential health benefits.

Dosage forms and dosage

Lutein can be taken in various dosage forms such as capsules, tablets or in liquid form. It is also contained in many multivitamin preparations and special eye preparations. The recommended daily dose varies depending on age, gender and individual health status, but is generally between 6 and 20 mg per day. It is important to discuss the intake with a doctor, especially if you are already taking other medication or have health problems.

Lutein: Healing potential

Lutein has the potential to treat or reduce the risk of a number of diseases. Of particular note is its role in the prevention and treatment of eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Studies have shown that a higher intake of lutein is associated with a lower risk of AMD. In addition, there is evidence that lutein can protect the brain and improve cognitive function, making it an important nutrient for the ageing population.

Dietary supplements and medicinal plants

Various dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be taken to support the effects of lutein. Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that is often recommended together with lutein, as both are concentrated in the macula of the eye and act synergistically. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish oil, can also support eye health. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc are important to protect the eyes from free radical damage.

Lutein: food sources

Although supplements are convenient, it’s best to get it from food. Foods rich in lutein include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, as well as egg yolks and corn. A diet rich in lutein is an easy way to boost eye health and potentially overall health as well.

Possible side effects

Although lutein is safe for most people, some individuals may experience side effects, especially when taking high doses. These include indigestion, headaches and skin changes. It is important to discuss the intake and other supplements with a doctor to ensure they are suitable for your individual health condition.

Lutein in naturopathy

In naturopathy, lutein is valued not only for eye health, but also for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often used in therapies to support general health and well-being, particularly those aimed at preventing chronic disease.

Summary

Lutein is a powerful ally in the fight for health, especially when it comes to our eyes. In the right dosage, in combination with other nutrients and as part of a balanced diet, it can help maintain vision and reduce the risk of certain diseases. As with all supplements, it is important to take a holistic approach and discuss the intake with a qualified health professional. It shows us how important it is to listen to our body’s signals and provide it with the nutrients it needs to get us through life.

Published on: 17. April 2024

Daniel

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