(NaturalHealth365) Lutein is known for being beneficial to vision and eye health. This carotenoid helps to protect the eyes and reduce the risk of both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration – two of the major causes of age-related blindness. But, the heart benefits will surprise you.
Most educated nutritionists will tell you that lutein enhances eye and vision health by providing structural support for the eye’s macula pigment. It also reduces eye tissue inflammation and protects us against oxidative stresses in the eyes from light and air exposure. So, how does luetin protect the heart?
Recent research is showing that there may be many more lutein benefits than previously realized. Lutein is now showing promise in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome.
Lutein benefits include anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
It was lutein’s positive effects against inflammation and oxidative stresses in the eyes that caught researcher Dr. Elizabeth Leermakers’ interest. She and her team set out to look for connections between the presence of lutein (or lack thereof) and diseases caused by these stressors such as heart attack, stroke and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions including elevated blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high blood triglycerides and fasting glucose levels, and low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.
The group analyzed existing research related to lutein. They began with 4,377 studies and narrowed them down to 71 of the most relevant. In total, over 387,000 persons were analyzed.
Reduction in coronary heart disease risk is one of many lutein benefits
Significant associations were found related to lutein and cardiometabolic diseases. Persons with higher levels of the compound in their bloodstream tended to have a reduced risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
Participants in the highest one-third of the group in terms of lutein in their bloodstream had a 12 percent reduction in coronary heart disease risk, an 18 percent reduction in stroke risk, and a 25 percent reduction incidents of metabolic syndrome.
Medical professionals link these lutein benefits to its ability to protect cells and tissues from inflammation and oxidative stress. These conditions are two of the major factors in the development of cardiovascular and metabolic illnesses.
Regular lutein intake could be key to continued health and longevity
These findings are transforming the way the medical community thinks of lutein. In the past, it was regarded as a vision enhancer. Now, lutein benefits have been expanded to include protection for the heart, brain and blood vessels.
In fact, lutein could be one of the keys to maintaining overall health and longevity. This study validates the effectiveness of lutein against coronary heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome. By extension, the risk of diabetes and premature death are also reduced, while positive blood lipid levels and quality of life are enhanced.
Looking to eat more lutein? Try eating more dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Of course, if you prefer, it can also be taken in supplement form. Obviously, if you’re dealing with cardiovascular issues, always consult a trusted healthcare provider about these issues and take action today.