Why Include a Vision Nutrient, Lutein, in a Multiple Vitamin?
Written By Karan R Gregg Aggarwala, MS, PhD
Karan R Gregg Aggarwala holds a PhD and a Master’s of Science Degree in Vision Science from the State University of New York College of Optometry. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in nutritional optometry under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin C. Lane of Lake Hiawatha, NJ. He has worked as a medical writer and associate medical director in the NY area since 2009. Meet Dr. Gregg for a free nutritional consultation at our 72nd Street retail location in Manhattan, New York.
What are the benefits of Lutein?
Lutein, a known nutrient for vision health, has also emerged as a major player for brain health, supporting memory functions throughout our lifespan, especially during childhood and the aging process. In our retina, an essential region for crystal clear vision, the concentration of two carotenoids – Lutein and Zeaxanthin (abbreviated L + Z) – are essential for ongoing vision health. They are so important to vision that they are commonly referred to as macular pigments. The macula is a filter that helps protect the eye.†
Healthy, robust macular tissue, rich in L + Z, has key functions, including filtering out blue light and focusing on objects for our sharpest vision (such as in reading a newspaper). Blue light is unstable and exposure is everywhere, even on your cell phone or TV screen. If it penetrates deep into our eyes, it damages the many small organs in our retina that are required for vision. Having a thicker macular tissue shields from blue light and this robustness is largely due to its L + Z content.†
What could restoring Lutein do for vision health?
L + Z levels decline with age largely due to a decreasing ability to absorb sufficient quantities from foods. Research shows that restoring L + Z levels through supplementation reinforces macular health and supports and even improves fine vision. Interestingly, the amount of L + Z in our eyes is reflected by the concentration in our blood plasma and this also reflects the concentration in our brain. Lutein is the dominant protective carotenoid pigment in the brain. Using up L + Z in our eyes, due to blue light exposure, depletes the Lutein level of our brain, which can eventually impact memory. Research shows that adequate Lutein in the brain is necessary for ongoing memory functions.†
Supplementing with L + Z is shown to improve brain health and memory functions, especially in aging adults. To help ensure adequate intake, we have included natural sourced L + Z in our Multiple-Vitamin, Mineral formulas, as well as our Chewable InVite® Multiple for Kids.†