LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN are carotenoids
found in vegetables and fruits. They act as
antioxidants, protecting cells against the
damaging effects of free radicals, and help
support healthy eyes and vision.
Lutein and zeaxanthin occur naturally in the
macula of the eye. They are the key components for fighting age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), a condition that can lead to
impairment and/or loss of vision. If you use
a computer, work or shop under fluorescent
lights you have been exposed to damaging
blue light, a leading cause of ARMD.
As we age, our bodies cannot restore lutein
and zeaxanthin in the macula, therefore daily
supplementation is necessary.
Lutein can be found in carrots and yellow
potatoes. Lutein and zeaxanthin are abundant
in a number of yellow/orange fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, papayas, peaches,
prunes, acorn squash, winter squash and
oranges. Egg yolks are the richest source and
also contain a large amount of zeaxanthin.
Individuals who consumed between 6 mg and
12 mg of lutein per day in their diets are less
likely to develop cataracts, macular degeneration and colon cancer. Lutein, in supplemental
form, should be taken with fat-containing
food to improve absorption.
Most people consume lutein as part of a
Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
normal diet containing fruits and vegetables,
but elderly and ill people can gain from
taking a lutein supplement, because their
digestive systems may not be functioning
at an optimal level.
Green tea and green tea extracts have been used to prevent and treat a
variety of cancers, including breast, stomach and skin cancers.
Green tea and green tea extracts have also been used for improving
mental alertness, aiding in weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels and protecting skin from sun damage.
Laboratory studies suggest that green tea may help protect against or slow
the growth of certain cancers, but studies in people have shown mixed results.
Some evidence suggests that the use of green tea preparations improves
mental alertness, most likely because of its caffeine content.
Possible side effects and cautions: Green tea is safe for most adults when
used in moderate amounts. Green tea and green tea extracts contain caffeine.
Caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea or frequent urination in some people. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure, and in very high doses it can cause seizures, delirium or irregular heart
rhythms. Green tea contains small amounts of vitamin K, which can make
anticoagulant drugs, such as warfarin, less effective.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
Several scientific studies suggest that active substances in milk thistle
(notably silymarin) protect the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins,
alcohol and certain drugs.
A comprehensive review by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and
Quality recently identified 16 scientific studies on the use of milk thistle for the
treatment of various forms of liver disease. Preliminary laboratory studies also
suggest that active substances in milk thistle may have anti-cancer effects.
Silymarin has strong antioxidant properties and has been shown to
inhibit the growth of human prostate, breast and cervical cancer cells in test
tubes. Further studies are needed to determine whether milk thistle is safe or
effective for people with these forms of cancer.
Treatment claims also include lowering cholesterol levels and reducing
insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis.
Possible side effects and cautions: In clinical
trials, milk thistle generally has few side
effects. Occasionally, people report a laxa- tive effect, upset stomach, diarrhea and bloating. Milk thistle can produce allergic Milk thistle reactions, which tend to be more common has been used among people who are allergic to plants since Greco-Roman in the same family (for example, ragweed, times as an her emedy for a?bal chrysanthemum, marigold and daisy).
variety of ailments,