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The Importance of Lutein for Eye and Brain Health

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Lutein is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties. Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities, improving memory and boosting intelligence
  • There’s an inverse association between lutein levels in the eyes and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the primary cause of blindness in the elderly, as well as cataracts
  • Lutein has also been shown to prevent cell death caused by retinal detachment when administered in a timely manner, and can help improve night vision
  • Lutein may help prevent neurodegenerative diseases by preventing DNA damage, the depletion of BDNF and the degradation of a synaptic vesicle protein involved in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s also been shown to help maintain the integrity of your brain’s white matter
  • Your body cannot manufacture lutein, so you need to get it from your diet. Lutein is a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens, especially kale and spinach

Lutein — a carotenoid found in egg yolks, avocados, cruciferous vegetables and dark, leafy greens — is well-known for its vision-enhancing properties. Research also suggests it has neuroprotective qualities, improving memory and boosting intelligence. As reported in the Senior Resource Guide:

“Lutein belongs in the subclass of xanthophylls, which have polar molecular structures that possess unique membrane properties, such as fluidity, communication between brain cells, ion exchange, diffusion of oxygen, membrane stability, and the prevention of oxidation and inflammation.


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