Lutein is a yellow carotenoid pigment found in fruits and vegetables. Lutein makes up the bulk of the pigment contained in the macula. Its partner zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that helps maintain eyesight in conditions (associated with sunlight damage) such as age-related macular degeneration
Lutein is found in the lens and in the retina of the eye and is closely related to zeaxanthin. It is believed to protect the eye from the oxidative stress that breaks down healthy tissue. It may also protect the macula by filtering blue light.
One study showed that eyes with AMD have 32% less lutein than eyes without AMD. Another study demonstrated that increased lutein intake may have positive effects on visual acuity.
Lutein can be found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens including:
- Collard greens
Your eye care professional may recommend supplementing your diet with an eye vitamin, such as Vitalux® Vitamins, specifically designed to provide the body with lutein and zeaxanthin to help maintain healthy vision.