The main connection between lutein and macular degeneration is that the nutrient has been found to slow the progression of vision loss caused by this eye disorder. Lutein is typically found in the eye, and its function is to protect the eyes from the damaging effects of blue light. For this reason, adding lutein to the diet can increase protection against damage, preserving vision for a little longer. Fortunately, this nutritional supplement can be found in both foods and vitamin tablets, which means that most people have access to lutein and macular degeneration treatment of some kind as a result.
This substance is an antioxidant in the carotenoid family, and like many other types of antioxidants, lutein is considered quite beneficial. Though it can be found in the eyes, breasts, cervix, brain, and skin, the body cannot make it, so it must be added through outside sources. Lutein is the most concentrated in the macula, which is the part of the retina that provides central vision. In fact, lutein and another substance called zeaxanthin collectively create the macular pigment. This aspect of the eye protects the macula from damaging blue light, and thus it can reduce the damage inflicted by macular degeneration.
Blue light can be found either outdoors through sunlight, or through indoor lighting. This type of light has been associated with free radicals, which can cause damage to any human body part that they come in contact with. Fortunately, the lutein in the macula typically protects the eye from this kind of damage by filtering it out, usually resulting in less vision loss due to macular degeneration. Therefore, the relationship between lutein and macular degeneration is such that the more of this substance there is, the less of a chance that vision loss will occur due to this eye disorder.
Lutein can be found in many fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those with red, yellow, dark green, or orange coloring. For example, colorful foods like red peppers, corn, carrots, squash, cantaloupe, oranges, and tomatoes all contain lots of lutein. Leafy green vegetables are also known for being a great source of lutein, such as kale, collard greens, and spinach. Additionally, egg yolks also contain this substance, and are digested particularly easily by the body. It should be noted that eating good fats, such as olive oil, with any of these foods can help make the most of the lutein since carotenoids are absorbed best this way.
Another way to get lutein and macular degeneration treatment in general is to ingest vitamins containing this substance. There are multivitamins on the market that include this antioxidant, as well as vitamins that claim to work particularly well for eyes. Lutein can also be found alone in tablets, usually over-the-counter. Overall, an increase in lutein and macular degeneration knowledge, such as the types of treatment available, can reduce the chances of vision loss due to this eye condition.