Botanical Name: Tagetes Erecta L.
Family Name: Carotenoid
Common Name: Marigold extract, xanthophylls
Zeaxanthin and lutein together are found together in many vegetables and are potent anti- oxidants. In the human body it occurs in high concentration in the eye including lens, retina and macula. Zeaxanthin and lutein are very important for a healthy eye. Zeaxanthin and lutein protect the eys from the harmful rays like the ultraviolet rays from the sun. It is very good for the eyes especially in dim light and where glare is a problem. Diets which are rich in these antioxidants protect the eyes from eye related diseases. These anti oxidants are rich in food like spinach, kale, broccoli etc. If these are consumed in large quantities the chances of developing cataract is less. There are many supplements available in the market and these can slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Zeaxanthin is a nutrient found in nature in the form of colorants and pigments. It is found in many types of fruits and corn. Marigold flowers are rich sources of zeaxanthin and are found in human bodies, mainly in the eyes and brain. It protects the eye from absorbing blue light which is the cause of harmful oxidative stress in the eye.
Commonly Known Benefits
Zeaxanthin protects the cells and membranes from the harmful effects of free radicals. It is not naturally produced in the human and must come from food or dietary supplements. It is difficult to get the required amount of zeaxanthin from natural food, so it is necessary to have the dietary supplements along with the food containing zeaxanthin. It can sharpen the vision of the eye and maintain healthy visual sharpness. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two types of carotenoids and they are yellow to red colored pigments seen in vegetables and plants. These can absorb light energy to prevent damage to the plants from the harsh sunlight and from the strong light rays called the blue light. It contains natural antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene and these guards the body from the damaging effects of free radicals which are unstable molecules which can destroy cells and play a vital role in many diseases. Lutein and zeaxanthin are available in non-vegetarian food like egg yolks also. But if you have high cholesterol it is not advisable to consume the egg yolks. Apart from the spinach the other type of food where you can get lutein and zeaxanthin are kale, collard, turnip greens, green peas, corn, broccoli, romaine lettuce, carrots, green beans etc. There are many nutritional supplements in the market which contains lutein and zeaxanthin. There are not any toxic effects reported due to the consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin. Most of the Western diets are low in lutein and zeaxanthin and the use of supplements in more in these regions when compared to the rest of the world.