Earlier today you learned about the role the plant pigment lutein can play in protecting your precious eyesight.
Study after study has linked the nutrient to healthy vision and preserving eyesight.
But it turns out that’s not the only trick this powerful carotenoid is hiding up its colorful sleeve.
Because according to new research this veggie extract could also play a role in helping you avoid a heart attack.
Inflammation slashing nutrient protects your heart
Inflammation is at the center of most major diseases and it plays a key role in the development of heart disease, contributing to angina and heart attacks.
But Swedish researchers say that lutein, found naturally in a number of colorful veggies such as spinach and carrots, is a natural inflammation fighter and might be able to help reduce your risk for certain heart problems.
Earlier research has shown the more carotenoids we have circulating in our body, such as lutein, the lower our overall level of inflammation.
So the researchers from Linkoping University wanted to find out what the relationship is between six of the most common carotenoids and inflammation in folks with coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common form or heart disease.
They measured the levels of the carotenoids as well as the inflammation markers interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood of the 193 patients with CAD.
The higher the lutein the lower the inflammation
We know that all carotenoids offer certain health benefits, but it was lutein alone that was linked to IL-6 levels. The higher the lutein levels were, the lower the level of inflammation was.
According to researcher Rosanna Chung, lutein was shown to suppress long-term inflammation in heart patients.
The study, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, found that immune cells suck up lutein and store it.1
And when the researchers collected immune cells from the blood of the heart disease patients they found that those cells which had been treated with lutein had significantly lower levels of the inflammation that’s associated with heart attacks.
In other words, lutein could turn out to be a super simple way to naturally reduce inflammation and help reduce your heart attack risk.
Raising your lutein levels may lower your heart attack risk
More research needs to be done for us to fully understand the relationship between lutein and inflammation, but there’s no reason to wait around for it.
We already known lutein is good for our health, and it’s easy to increase the amount of lutein in your body. The nutrient is found in a number of delicious vegetables, as well as a few other tasty foods.
Following are 12 terrific sources of heart-friendly lutein…
- collard greens
- red/yellow peppers
- Brussels sprouts
According to experts carotenoids such as lutein are natural antioxidants, which means they can help reduce your risk for a variety of diseases including cancers and eye diseases.
Protect your peepers, heart and more by eating more lutein-rich foods starting today. Lutein is also available as a supplement.
1. “Lutein exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with coronary artery disease,” Atherosclerosis, July 2017, Volume 262, Pages 87–93
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