Lutein is a carotenoid found in a vast number of fruits and vegetables. Like other carotenoids, lutein has antioxidant activity in various tissues, but is only one of two that is stored within the retina where it promotes the integrity and density of the macular pigment, a key component of ocular health. Multiple clinical studies suggest a direct relationship between lutein supplementation and macula lutein concentration. Lutein uptake reportedly occurs in the receptor layer of the eye through a soluble carotenoid-binding protein called tubulin. Clinical trials have indicated that lutein specifically supports vision health through a combination of pigment associated antioxidant protection and light screening mechanisms. Furthermore, a two-year, double blind, placebo-controlled pilot study reported that lutein may support healthy visual function in older individuals more efficiently than alpha tocopherol.
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