It’s not unusual for supplements to supercharge more than one part of your body. In fact, just a few weeks ago, I showed you how lycopene can shrink a swollen prostate in men and protect bones at the same time. Now a new study shows that a powerful eye-protecting supplement also can lower your cholesterol.
You’ve probably heard of lutein before. It has a well-deserved reputation as an eye protector because it can prevent macular degeneration — the number one cause of blindness. Lutein, as you may know, is a plant carotenoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities. These benefits can lower your oxidized LDL cholesterol and protect your heart and arteries from disease.
In this study, researchers gave a group of guinea pigs a high-cholesterol diet for 12 weeks. Since guinea pigs have a vascular system that exhibits similar characteristics as the human vascular system, this diet should result in more plaque in the arteries. And it did for half of the guinea pigs. Why didn’t all of the guinea pigs have plaque formation? Simply because the researchers gave them a lutein supplement.
According to the researchers, the lutein halted the ability of small, dense oxidized LDL cholesterol particles to collect in the arteries. As a result, the high-cholesterol diet didn’t cause their arteries to become stiff and inelastic.
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This is one of the first studies to prove that lutein can protect more than just one organ. It’s likely it protects all of your organs in one way or another. So it’s vital you get plenty of lutein in your diet. You’ll find lutein in dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and cabbage. However, don’t stop there.
Along with eating plenty of green veggies, make sure you take a supplement with lutein (15 mg) in it. It will go a long way toward keeping your arteries soft and supple.
You can find lutein in just about any health food store or on the Internet. You’ll also find it in Advanced Vision Formula. This supplement is good for a lot more than just great eyesight, as it has many nutrients that work on more than one organ.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
J Nutr. 2011 Aug;141(8):1458-63. Epub 2011 Jun 22.