Lutein provides benefits such as improving symptoms of macular degeneration and reducing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, states WebMD. Additionally, research demonstrates that lutein can reduce the risk of developing cataracts, and if taken consistently, can improve vision in older people with cataracts.
Lutein provides antioxidant benefits for the eyes and protects the eyes from the damaging effects of free radicals. Lutein is a necessary dietary component for normal vision, and the retinas of the eyes have a high concentration of lutein in them. Consuming a diet that contains high amounts of lutein may also protect against cardiovascular disease. At least one research study demonstrated that people with increased blood levels of antioxidants including lutein had healthier blood vessels, according to Shereen Lehman for About.com.
A sufficient level of lutein is generally obtained through a diet high in green-, orange- and yellow-colored fruits and vegetables. Lutein is a carotenoid found in plants such as carrots, squash, corn, kale and spinach, and eggs yolks provide an animal source of lutein. Dietary supplements can provide a source of lutein, although plant sources of lutein may provide more cardiovascular benefits to the body, reports Lehman. However, supplements containing lutein may provide vision benefits.
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.