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What are the benefits of lutein?

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Quick Answer

Lutein is beneficial because it protects the eyes from damage caused by sunlight, and experts believe it protects against age-related eye problems, such as cataracts and macular degeneration, states WebMD. Some people also use lutein to prevent illnesses, including colon cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer, as lutein is a carotenoid vitamin, very similar to vitamin A. As of 2015, research is still underway regarding lutein's benefits.

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Full Answer

Dosing information for reducing the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration is 6 milligrams of lutein per day, states WebMD. This is achieved through diet or the use of supplements containing lutein; however, scientific research shows that people who consume 6.9 to 11.7 milligrams of lutein per day through dietary means have an even lower risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Typically, multivitamins contain a very small amount of lutein, at approximately 0.25 milligrams, states WebMD. Many food sources are rich in lutein, including kale, spinach and broccoli. One cup of cooked kale contains 44 milligrams of lutein, while one cup of cooked spinach contains 26 milligrams, and one cup of broccoli contains 3 milligrams. Other food sources of lutein are kiwi fruit, orange peppers, corn, grapes and orange juice. Squash and zucchini are also lutein-rich foods.

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