Prevent or Slow Down Blindness – Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Macular Degeneration – AMD



Lutein and Zeaxanthin – The Prevention of Macular Degeneration (AMD) – And More

Adult Macular Degeneration (AMD) is usually an age-related disease that results in gradual central vision blindness. Evidence continues to mount lutein and the companion nutrient zeaxanthin may inhibit the onset or progression of this disease. There is even some evidence lutein and zeaxanthin may have some curative properties.

 

Lutein – A Miracle Nutrient?

Lutein, zeaxanthin, and macular degeneration.

The pigmentation in the central part of the eye is critical to the process of vision. Light gradually and naturally destroys this pigmentation during the course of one's lifetime. Just another normal aspect of aging; or of particularly harsh environmental circumstances. This is called macular degeneration or AMD. One's heredity traits often determine how rapidly this destruction takes place.

[Side note. Are you out in the sun all the time? If so, wearing sunglasses that additionally blocks UV is indeed a good idea. Your older self will thank your younger self for having done so. Do you wear contacts or regular glasses? If so, do get the UV blocking option. Over the course of a lifetime, it will indeed make a difference.]

Lutein is one of the necessary nutrients that blocks this destruction. The general scientific consensus is lutein saturates the central part of the eye and absorbs those light frequencies which would otherwise gradually destroy the pigmentation. The body is unable to manufacture its own lutein. It must be acquired through outside sources.

Multiple studies at the the federal National Institutes of Health have pretty much proven that lutein inhibits the onset of macular degeneration. It has also been pretty much concluded 6 mg is the preferred daily dosage. Unfortunately, this maintenance level of lutein nutrition is difficult to accomplish in the normal daily diet. Thus the ever-growing stampede to include 6 mg lutein upplements in one's daily routine.

In addition to inhibiting macular degeneration, there is growing evidence that lutein also inhibits cataracts.

Lutein, and especially vitamin A, are essential to the health of the eye's central vision pigmentation. As a side note, a long-term deficiency of vitamin A alone will cause blindness. Fortunately, vitamin A is a common nutrient found in many foods. Vitamin A deficiency is a rare occurrence. Other than multipurpose vitamin supplements, taking extra vitamin A is not recommended. In fact, long-term excessive vitamin A is actually detrimental to your health as well.

An update note. Even more recent studies are showing lutein actually slows the progression of existing macular degeneration and possibly even does more.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

Lutein – Curative Properties

Macular degeneration gradually destroys the pigmentation in the central vision part of your eyes. Peripheral vision remains intact.

In addition to the multiple studies showing lutein slows the progression of AMD, the National Institutes of Health did a very small study consisting of two volunteers. Both volunteers had macular degeneration. Both volunteers were given large, daily doses of lutein over an extended period of time. Both volunteers experienced replacement of some of the pigmentation which had been destroyed by macular degeneration. This area of lutein and AMD research is still in its infancy. Two cases is not proof of a general trend. But, to say the least, the results are promising.

There have also been studies where lutein has been shown to decrease the symptoms of AMD. In other words, the person is able to see a little better than they otherwise would.

For the many Americans who suffer from AMD and don't have access to healthcare because of the corrupt practices of our private-sector medical insurance companies, hospitals, etc.; lutein supplements are available up to 40 mg. These supplements should not be considered as a substitute cure; just a desperate stop-gap measure as one struggles to get treatment before going blind. It's pretty conclusive that lutein will slow AMD progression, so lutein can at least buy you some extra time.

It is hoped the government continues to fund lutein studies. It may be the gateway to finding a lutein derivative that outright, completely reverses macular degeneration altogether.

An update note. Lutein OTC supplements are unregulated by the FDA. The good news is there is a very worthwhile natural food nutritional source for all the lutein and zeaxanthin you could possibly want. See the second link (All about Kale) listed below; it is a worthy read.

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