Lutein is a yellow-green pigment and part of the carotenoid family of phytonutrients.

Found in the retina, it serves as an accessory light-gathering pigment and helps to to protect against ultra-violet radiation. Because of this, it is most well known for its ability to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.

Recent research shows it may also help to protect against a number of cancers and, as an antioxidant, help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

HEALING TIP: The most bioavaiable source of lutein is egg yolks (make sure you’re buying the healthiest eggs to get the most benefits). It is also found in leafy green vegetables. Like its other carotenoid cousins, lutein is lipid (or fat)¬†soluble and best used by the body when it is cooked and eaten with a small amount of healthy fat.

Lutein - Found in:

Kale, Spinach, Collards, Mustard Greens, Corn, Broccoli, Lettuce, Eggs, Avocado Oil, Avocados,
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Beatty S, Murray IJ, Henson DB, Carden D, Koh HH, Boulton ME Macular Pigment and Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Subjects from a Northern European Population.Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2001 Feb;42(2):439-446. Berendschot TT, Goldbohm RA, Klö pping WA, et al. Influence of lutein supplementation on macular pigment, assessed with two objective techniques. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 2000; 41:3322-3326. Bone RA, Landrum JT, Dixon Z, et al. Lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes, serum and diet of human subjects. Exp Eye Res. 2000; 71:239-245. Bone RA, Landrum JT, Friedes LM, et al. Distribution of lutein and zeaxanthin stereoisomers in the human retinal. Exp Eye Res. 1997; 64:211-218. Brown L, Rimm EB, Seddon JM, et al. A prospective study of carotenoid intake and risk of cataract extraction in U.S. men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 70:517-524. Chasan-Taber L, Willett WC, Seddon JM, et al. A prospective study of carotenoid and vitamin A intakes and risk of cataract extraction in U.S. women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 70:509-516.Chung HY, Rasmussen HM, Johnson EJ.Lutein bioavailability is higher from lutein-enriched eggs than from supplements and spinach in men.J Nutr. 2004 Aug;134(8):1887-93.

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

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