Archive for the ‘Lutein’ Category

Lutein: Eyes & Cooking

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Hi, Jack. Have you ever heard about the role lutein, found in highest amounts in kale and spinach, plays in vision or eye health? I just watched a video (it’s 23, second from bottom on p.1) by Robyn Openshaw (the self-named Green Smoothie Girl) and she claims that she had really bad eyesight in college. Since then she’s had two to three handfuls of raw spinach a day (in smoothies) and she says that now her eyesight is 20/15. On another site, it says you’re supposed to cook the greens to release the lutein, so now I don’t know what to think.

Robyn Openshaw is misinformed about vitamin B12, saying in Part 2 of her GSG-SMOOTHIE 2.0 video that you can get it from brewer’s yeast, aloe vera, or a steak once every three years. Whether green smoothies improved her eyesight, I really have no idea. If they did, it could be any number of things in them, not just lutein.

All that said…Yes, lutein is thought to be good for protecting the eyes. I did a little research to see if lutein is better absorbed from cooked or uncooked spinach and it appears to be better absorbed from cooked, though the difference is not great according to this abstract.

It also appears that luetin is fat-soluble which should mean that eating some fat with foods high in lutein would increase its absorption. Fat soluble molecules are often better absorbed when cooked, but the one abstract above, the best one I could find, indicated that this is not the case for lutein.