Most People are Deficient in Lutein

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Interviewer:  Do we know how much lutein our body needs to maintain proper
eye health?

Dr. Stringham:     Well, that is a great question, and that's something my
lab's been trying to get at. And it looks like about ten to 12 milligrams
daily can make a difference in the eye. In other words, you can actually
track and I can measure it, and it'll go up with time. It'll incorporate it
into the tissues like the retina or presumably, the brain as well. So it
makes a difference. That's equivalent to about two big bowls of spinach a
day. And of course, the American diet being what it is, we don't get that
much. And so thankfully, you know, there are supplements. Or you can
radically change your diet and you know, get that amount. It's been
speculated that, you know, humans in evolutionary history probably ate as
much as 100 milligrams a day because we got by on so many, you know,
plants, because we didn't have so much other food sources readily

Interviewer:  Mm-hmm. Generally speaking, how deficient are most people
because, like you said, we don't eat two bowls of spinach a day or that
much fruit and vegetables?

Dr. Stringham:  Well, you know, I've got my own personal definition of
deficiency and it has to do with an eye level.  And based on that, probably
at least two-thirds of the population that I've measured. And that's,
again, fairly well off college students, you know, able to afford a college
education. Those are most of the folks that I've measured. But, you know,
the overall span, they're below that level. And it's worrisome knowing
what, I mean, not only for eye health, but for other aspects of development
and performance, you know, visual and otherwise, that lutein impacts.
Dr. Jim Stringham shares his thoughts on how deficient the U.S. population might be when it comes to lutein. He also discusses research that indicates how much lutein the body needs on a regular basis for optimal eye health.

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