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Lutein is a member of the carotenoid family of plant pigments, which are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colours of certain fruits and vegetables. Lutein is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, and is found in the eye in the central area of the retina known as the macula. Good sources of lutein include leafy green vegetables such as spinach, and egg yolks.

Lutein protects the macula from damage by free radicals, which are toxic chemicals formed in the eye during exposure to ultraviolet light. Lutein protects against the development of the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, macular degeneration.

It has been reported that individuals with a high dietary intake of lutein had a substantially decreased risk of developing macular degeneration and that supplementation with lutein significantly improved visual function in patients with age-related macular degeneration.

There are no reported adverse effects from taking lutein.

The recommended intake for lutein is 5-10mg per day.

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