Before you buy lutein supplements, take a few moments to read this article.
At the very least, it should give you some things to think about. According to recent studies, taking a lutein supplement may be a good idea, but it is not the only important nutrient that has made recent news.
Typically, lutein supplements are recommended for people that have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or a family history of the disease. People with a family history of the disease are four times more likely to develop AMD than those who have no relatives with the condition.
Research indicates that a zeaxanthin and lutein supplement can help slow the progression of the disease. Currently there is no available treatment for AMD and it often leads to blindness. Finding a way to prevent the disease is the goal of many researchers.
At this time, most experts believe that nutritional supplementation is beneficial, as is a healthy diet, adequate fluid intake and regular physical activity, but a single-ingredient lutein supplement is not the best that we can do for the health of our eyes.
Here’s a look at what specific nutrients do, in relation to our vision.
Lutein supplements protect the retina from harmful blue light by absorbing it. Beta-carotene is necessary for gathering and receiving light, particularly in the dark.
Night blindness is caused by inadequate intake of beta-carotene. Glucosamine helps to stabilize intraocular pressure. Glaucoma, which can also lead to blindness, is a result of high intraocular pressure.
Bilberry extract, because of the antioxidants and other nutrients it contains, improves blood flow to the eyes. Studies indicate that molybdenum, a trace element, has a protective role against the formation of cataracts. DHA, and omega-3, is the most abundant fatty acid in the retina. Studies indicate that a diet rich in DHA reduces the risk of glaucoma, AMD, retinitis pigmentosa and cataracts.
In other words, a lutein supplement is not the only thing that you should be taking to protect the health of your eyes, improve your vision and reduce your risk of age-related diseases of the eyes.
Except for omega-3 DHA, you can get all of those nutrients, as well as zeaxanthin (“Zee-a-ZAN-thin”), in some of the better health supplements on the market.
If you compare the single-ingredient lutein supplements on the market, you will see that they vary greatly in price. While the cheap products are not a good choice, it is not necessary to pay hundreds of dollars, either.
To insure that you get what you are paying for, compare quality, rather than price.
The content of a lutein supplement varies. The recommended daily intake has yet to be established. Researchers have found that the higher the dosage, the greater the increase in circulating blood levels and concentration in the retina.
So, if you do decide to buy single-ingredient lutein supplements, look for one that provides at least 50mg per day.
But, if you want the best value for your money, look for a multi-nutritional supplement. Think of it as “eye insurance”.