[Lutein Benefits] 3 reasons why lutein is good for eye health

Lutein Benefits
1. Increased macular pigment density
2. Reduction of photofatigue recovery time
3. Near-point control improvement

Hello. This is Jinny, the pharmacist.

Lutein is widely known as an eye health nutrient But did you know how lutein helps eye health? Lutein is an orange-colored carotenoid, or pigment. In the body, it is a substance that constitutes the macula, which plays the most important role in vision, as the photoreceptor cells that detect light and color are concentrated among the retina 

Therefore, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has also recognized the functionality of 'helping eye health by maintaining macular pigment density, which can be reduced due to aging'. Now, throughout the paper, we will look at the specific benefits of taking lutein orally.

1. Increased macular pigment density

Macular pigment plays a role in protecting the retina from light, but it is not synthesized in the body, so it  is known that the macular pigment density decreases to half in the 50s and 60s compared to those in the 20s and 30s . Therefore, eye damage due to aging is inevitable. 

In this regard, a paper published in Nutrients in 2020 reported that macular pigment density increased when lutein was consumed in a study targeting healthy adults .

“ A significantly higher macular pigment optical density (MPOD) value was observed in the lutein group than in the placebo group at week 16, indicating an improvement. ”
Reference papers: Machida, Naomichi, Marie Kosehira, and Nobuyoshi Kitaichi. "Clinical Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Lutein with High Bio-Accessibility on Macular Pigment Optical Density and Contrast Sensitivity: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Parallel-Group Comparison Trial." Nutrients 12.10 (2020): 2966.
2. Reduction of photofatigue recovery time

There is another effect obtained by increasing the macular pigment density. It is the reduction of recovery time from light fatigue. Photofatigue recovery time is the amount of time it takes for bleaching of the eyes to appear and then recover from strong light.

In 2008, a paper was published in Optometry and Vision Science that showed that the recovery time from photofatigue was reduced when lutein and zeaxanthin were consumed for 6 months .

“ At 4 months, the macular photofatigue recovery time was significantly shorter than the baseline measurement. These changes increased rapidly over a period of 6 months. (Omitted) Photofatigue recovery time appears to be a direct function of macular pigment density increase. "
Reference papers : JAMES M. STRINGHAM, PhD, BILLY R. HAMMOND, PhD. (2008) Macular Pigment and Visual Performance Under Glare Conditions. Optom Vis Sci. 85(2): 82-8.
3. Near-point control improvement

Since close objects form images on the back of the retina rather than the retina, a process of adjusting the thickness of the lens is required to see objects clearly. At this time, near-point control is the state in which the lens is maximally thick, and the maximum adjustment is being made. However , when it comes to 40 s, the elasticity of the lens is reduced, and the thickness that can be thick is limited Then presbyopia occurs .

In this regard, a paper was published in Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry in 2014 that showed that near-point control was improved when taking multiple dietary supplements including lutein .

“ The multiple dietary supplement group showed improvements in near-point accommodation (NPA). "
Reference paper: Kono, K., Shimizu, Y., Takahashi, S., Matsuoka, S., & Yui, K. (2014). Effect of multiple dietary supplement containing lutein, astaxanthin, cyanidin-3-glucoside, and DHA on accommodative ability. Immunology, Endocrine & Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry-Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents), 14(2), 114-125.

Today we looked at the benefits of consuming lutein when it comes to eye health. As mentioned earlier, lutein is a type of pigment, and its name is derived from the Latin word 'leteus', which means 'yellow'. Therefore , remember that excessive consumption may temporarily turn your skin yellow .

I hope you have a healthy day in body and mind. It was Jinny