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Lutein is one of two carotenoid pigments found in the retina and macula of the human eye. It is also used as a dietary supplement to prevent and treat eye disorders, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Although this is a naturally occurring substance, the supplements may not be safe for everyone, such as those who have cystic fibrosis.
What Is Lutein?Lutein is a naturally occurring carotenoid. Carotenoids are yellow, red, orange, or purple pigments found in most living things. Lutein is used as a dietary supplement, probably most often for preventing or treating eye disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD.
(Click Lutein Benefits for more information about possible lutein uses.)
How Does It Work?Lutein is one of two carotenoids found in the retina and macula of the human eye. It is thought that lutein acts as an antioxidant and a filter for blue light, helping to protect the eye tissues from sun damage. The substance is also found in the bloodstream and in fat deposits.
Is Lutein Effective?As you might expect, taking lutein supplements is effective at preventing a deficiency for people who do not get enough through the diet. The product may be effective at preventing and perhaps treating macular degeneration, and for preventing severe cataracts (see Does Lutein Work? for more information).
Dosing InformationBased on the results of studies, reasonable dosing recommendations are available when using lutein for some purposes. However, the recommended dose might vary, depending on how much you normally obtain through your diet.
(Click Lutein Dosage for more information.)