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The Dynamic Duo of Antioxidants

I’m sometimes asked if certain nutrients work better when taken together than they do separately.

The answer is yes. And the first combination that comes to mind is lutein and zeaxanthin…the Batman and Robin of health supplements.

Both are carotenoids—pigments that bring color to various plants. They are also powerful antioxidants. They fight free radicals. These are unstable molecules that roam through our bodies, causing damage like cars in a demolition derby.

Free radicals age us. They contribute to the worst diseases you can think of…cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are enemies of free radicals, and therefore important allies in keeping us healthy.

Famed for Eye Protection

Lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-ah-zan-thin) are best known for supporting eye health. They are the only carotenoids that can be accumulated in the retina. They protect against serious eye conditions, including…

  1. Cataracts. A study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science gave cataract patients lutein and zeaxanthin. Researchers found the carotenoids slowed cataract progression.[i] Another study, this one from Australia’s University of Melbourne, included 3,271 subjects. It found that people who consumed lutein and zeaxanthin had a much lower risk of developing cataracts.[ii]
  1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). A study from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary looked at 356 AMD patients. The research team concluded that lutein and zeaxanthin “may decrease the risk of developing advanced or exudative AMD.” That’s the worst form of the disease among older people.[iii]
  1. Diabetic Retinopathy. Research published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine found that lutein slowed the progression of diabetic blindness.[iv]

Other noteworthy benefits include…

  • Reducing risk of heart disease. The Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California recruited 573 middle-aged subjects. After taking lutein and zeaxanthin for 18 months, the progression of the thickening of their carotid arteries was slowed.[v]
  • Skin protection. An article in the journal Clinics in Dermatology reported that data from numerous studies shows lutein and zeaxanthin filter UV rays. The carotenoids protect the skin against free radicals.[vi]

So there you have it. It’s worth your while to double down on the health benefits provided by lutein and zeaxanthin. They’re available from online retailers and health stores everywhere.

There’s nothing like teamwork, even in the world of natural supplements.

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