Lutein May Help Fight Systemic Inflammation
Lutein is one of only two carotenoids that can filter harmful blue light that can damage cells in the eye. A recent study suggests that lutein may also help fight reduce systemic inflammation.
Participants in the study included 70 people with early stage age-related macular degeneration. AMD is the number one cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 55.
Over the course of one year, the participants took either 10 mg per day of lutein or a placebo. At the conclusion of the study, the lutein group had 1.1 ng/ml per month decreases in sC5b-9, a marker of systemic inflammation. This resulted in a total reduction of 14 ng/ml for the year, from 60.3 ng/ml to 46.3 ng/ml.
The placebo group showed an average monthly increase in sC5b-9 of 0.6 ng/ml. The yearly increase went from 51.6 ng/ml to 58.4 ng/ml.
Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the University of Manchester in the UK conducted the study. It was published in the March 2015 issue of Acta Opthalmologica.
Lutein creates the yellow pigmentation of the macula, which is the part of the eye that provides protection from damaging blue light. If the yellow macular pigment is too thin, blue light can penetrate the retina and cause long-term damage.
You can increase your lutein levels by consuming more green leafy vegetables, corn, and egg yolk.