Improve Skin, Eye and Brain Health with Proper Lutein Intake
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Lutein is a triple-threat nutrient. Do you strive for healthy, beautiful skin? Do you have a family history of cataracts or age-related macular degeneration? Do you want to be proactive to avoid cognitive decline? In each of these instances, research has shown that consuming proper amounts of lutein is a healthy move.
While the name “lutein” may be unfamiliar to you, this nutrient is likely hard at work in your body right now. Lutein is stored in several areas of the body including the eye, blood serum, skin, cervix, breasts and brain. This nutrient is classified as a carotenoid – a term for various colored pigments found in fruits and vegetables. Other well-known carotenoids include beta carotene found in carrots and lycopene found in tomatoes. Some of the natural food sources of lutein include:
- Dark leafy greens (such as spinach, kale, collards and broccoli)
- Egg yolk
The body does not independently produce lutein, making the food it’s found in even more important. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans struggle to incorporate the recommended amount of nutrient-rich produce into their diets. Only one in 10 people get the lutein they need each day from the food they eat. As you read about the multifaceted benefits below, take a moment to consider whether your diet could use a nutritional boost in lutein. The science shows it could be helpful in more ways than one.
The skin is the body’s largest organ. The key to beautiful skin is healthy skin, and lutein is a major player. Lutein helps protect skin from harmful light. Sunlight can be very harsh on the skin and it is a major cause of premature aging. Lutein works to filter out high-energy blue light. Blue light not only penetrates the surface layers of skin (as UV light does), but it also goes even deeper, reaching the entire depth of skin. With potential damage to all the skin layers, it is no wonder that wrinkles, reddening, age spots, dryness and sagging may result. While lutein should not replace the regular use of sunscreen, it can add another level of sun protection by defending the skin from the inside out.
Lutein also moisturizes skin. According to clinical research, 10 mg of the lutein form used in Cooper Complete®products increases skin hydration by 38 percent. One of the skin’s defense mechanisms from external hazards is a layer of lipids which helps protect it and preserves its hydration. The skin’s lipid content is comprised of naturally occurring molecules that include oily components such as fats, waxes and vitamins. Essentially, the lipid layer helps protect against drying and gives skin a healthy glow. The consumption of lutein decreases oxidation of these lipids. This helps the skin maintain moisture, resulting in a smoother complexion and improved appearance.
Lutein is a key component of Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health, formulated to promote healthier skin, hair and nails.
Do not lose sight of the benefits lutein has on your eyes. Preliminary studies indicate lutein supplements may help prevent or slow the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. These are the two most common causes of blindness in Americans over age 65. The most concentrated amount of lutein in the body is in the macular region of the retina. The macula is a small, yellow area near the center of the eye. The macula is very sensitive tissue which makes it vulnerable to sun damage. Lutein can help by absorbing excess blue and ultraviolet light. Think of it as an internal pair of sunglasses. Lutein shields the macula from getting too much light. If your family has a history of AMD or if you have any early indicators you may be developing the condition, we recommend adding Cooper Complete Eye Health to your supplement regimen.
In addition, lutein may also shield the lens of the eye from light damage, therefore slowing the development of cataracts. Multiple studies have shown lutein may help reduce the risk of severe cataracts, and one study indicated it could improve visual acuity for patients who have already have cataracts. Further research is needed to uncover if more advanced trials yield the same favorable results.
The science community is optimistic about emerging research connecting lutein to brain health. For infants, lutein represents only 12 percent of the carotenoids in a standard diet, and yet it is the most dominant carotenoid present in a baby’s brain at 59 percent. This preferential uptake seems to continue as one ages and develops. The brain absorbs more lutein than any other carotenoid. On the other end of the spectrum from infants, lutein makes up 34 percent of the carotenoids in the brain of those age 100 or older. Multiple elementary studies have linked a lutein-rich brain to a variety of cognitive functions including verbal fluency, executive function, memory and recall. With the dramatic rise in cognitive disorders in recent years, learning more about scientifically proven preventive measures is eye-opening.
Because lutein is already well regarded for improving eye health, some of these properties are being connected to brain health. The retina is linked to the brain by the optic nerve. It is suggested this link may show lutein can help communication between the eye and brain. This improves reaction time and helps process rapidly moving options – something beneficial to all of us, but may be especially applicable to athletes.
Ideally, a nutritious diet would yield all the necessary lutein (and a whole host of other nutrients) needed for a strong and healthy body. For most, diet lacks perfection and supplements provide a good way to fill the gaps. Cooper Complete Original Multivitamins contain 6 mg of FloraGLO® lutein. This is the most bioavailable form of lutein. Be sure you are getting enough lutein to experience a dynamic trio of benefits.
To find out more about lutein and the Cooper Complete line of supplements, visit coopercomplete.com or call our team of experts at 888.393.2221.