Lutein is a supplement used in alternative medicine to prevent and aid the treatment of certain eye diseases, such as muscular degeneration and cataracts.
Lutein is a carotenoid found in the human eye; it works as a filter that protects the eye tissues from the adverse effects of sunlight and blue light from mobile devices. It is found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, garden eggs, carrots, corn, eggs, grapes, etc. Lutein is available in supplement form but should only be prescribed by a healthcare provider.
The dosage for lutein is usually 5mg daily for children, depending on the condition and level of deficiency. 10 to 20 mg have been prescribed for most adults and can be safe even when taken for up to 3 years.
High doses of lutein can cause carotenemia, which is characterised by yellowing of the skin. Still, it goes away naturally when you stop taking the supplement, and it is also harmless.
Side Effects of Lutein
Lutein is obtained from food, and lutein supplements are very safe when taken in appropriate amounts; you can take 20 mg daily without any side effects. However, if lutein is taken with other vitamins and medications, the side effects of those components must be considered.
Lutein supplements are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women when taken in the same amounts that can be obtained from food. It is also safe for children when taken in appropriate doses. However, you can discuss with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking lutein supplements and also discuss with a paediatrician before giving your child lutein.
If lutein is prescribed as part of a combined supplement and treatment for eye health, ensure you read the labels and find out if you are allergic to any of the medications or supplements and if they have side effects so you can tell if you are reacting to lutein or the other treatments.