What is Lutein? Its major role in the diet of diabetics.

Each diabetic is aware of the fact that, since their diagnosis, they must pay extra attention to certain problems that this health condition causes. One of them is the health of their eyes.

For proper eye care, diabetics must schedule periodic checks with specialists and also take food supplements, which can be of massive help in maintaining the health of their eyes. In this case, the basic active substance is lutein.

Lutein is a carotenoid, a group of compounds in the vitamin A family. It can decrease the risk of certain types of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration, according to reports published by the International Carotenoid Society.

Our body can extract lutein from various foods (bright colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, corn, tomatoes, spinach) as well as from dietary supplements.

Lutein and eye health. Lutein is present in our body especially in the eye lens, the retina, the macula and plays an extremely important role in visual clarity It is an antioxidant that protects cells against free radical and UV damage.

Free radicals harm the immune system and thus trigger the apparition of various infectious and degenerative diseases. One of these major issues is the considerable deterioration of the macula, which is present at the center of the retina, and which leads to loss of eyesight. Lutein is extremely efficient in this case.

Lutein works as a natural filter for the eyes and protects the retina from direct exposure to the damaging sunlight. It increases the density of the macular pigmentation – the protective tissue that covers the macula. This pigment consolidates the vital structures of the eye as well as their capacity to protect themselves. It helps the filtering of the damaging blue and UV light and thus protects against macular degeneration, caused by free radicals.

Also, lutein plays an important role in protection against cataract, which usually comes with age. Cataract is characterized by an opaqueness of the natural eye lens, causing blurry vision. Lutein helps consolidate the cells in the eye lens and improve vision.

Lutein in our diet. Lutein is found in various green vegetables (cabbage, spinach), in corn, zucchini, orange bell peppers, kiwis and grapes. Vast amounts of lutein are also found in eggs.

Dietary supplements are also a highly efficient manner of providing the organism with its daily lutein requirements in controlled quantities, accompanied by other vitamins and minerals necessary for the correct operation of our body. Generally, the recommended dose is between 10 and 20 mg per day, but it is important to know the exact quantity required by each person. Our recommendation is to ask your doctor.

Lutein in the treatment of diabetes mellitus Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic condition characterized by hyperglycemia and is often associated with complications, such as cataract and high sensitivity to frequent and prolonged infections. The high level of blood sugar induces oxidative stress in the cells of the immune system. A study carried out by Muriach M and his collaborators has shown that lutein intake inhibits oxidative stress. Thus, the researchers reached the conclusion that lutein can play an important role in the reduction of sensitivity to infections among patients suffering from diabetes mellitus.

Also, diabetics suffer from a high risk of developing cataract, the main cause of loss of eyesight. Multiple scientific studies have focused on the protective effect of lutein against the development of cataract. Researcher Arnal E together with his team, subsequent to a study conducted on lab rats, found that a treatment of lutein and insulin prevents the development of cataract in rats suffering from diabetes mellitus. The lutein intake significantly inhibited the peroxidation of lipids in the lens of diabetics.

[1] Luteina previne efectul de niveluri ridicate de glucoza asupra celulelor sistemului imunitar in vivo și in vitro. J. Physiol Biochem. . June 2008, 64 (2): 149-57 [2] Luteina previne dezvoltarea cataractei si progresia la sobolani cu diabet zaharat. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Jan; 247 (1): 115-20. 

Source: www.diabetesdaily.com, www.phytochemicals.info