Lutein: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake, and Side Effects | 1MD Nutrition™

Enjoy free shipping today! Enter code SHIP1MD at checkout.

Lutein: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake, and Side Effects

Lutein is an important antioxidant carotenoid found in many colorful fruits and vegetables and readily available as a supplement. It’s commonly known to benefit eye health, but there’s much more to lutein. Here’s everything you need to know.

7 minute read

Last Updated January 6, 2022

Lutein Benefits - Men's Health - 1MD

Lutein is an important carotenoid, a pigment found in leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables. Lutein is most commonly known to support eye health by protecting against occasional oxidative stress, but recently, these antioxidant properties have been recognized to support prostate, heart, and whole-body health. 

Lutein, like other carotenoids, is fat-soluble. It is best absorbed with good fats such as olive oil. Cooking foods typically changes their structure and effectiveness, but this is not the case with lutein. Cooking foods that contain lutein increases its nutritional value as they reach your bloodstream. 

Whether eaten raw or cooked, foods that contain lutein, as well as high-quality supplements, can help promote men’s health.

Lutein For Men's Health

It is not easy to get the physician-recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This means that you may not be getting the lutein your body needs, making supplements an important way to promote prostate and overall health and vitality.

Prostate Health

The prostate continues to grow with age, but with the right support, you can help promote healthy prostate aging. Carotenoids like lutein and lycopene are potent antioxidants that work synergistically to reduce occasional oxidative stress to support prostate health. 

While supplements that contain lutein are beneficial, for optimal prostate health look for a product that also contains saw palmetto, a plant extract that supports prostate health and contains lutein. USPlus® saw palmetto, which contains ten times the amount of lutein as typical saw palmetto extracts, can help support prostate health and bladder and urinary tract function as well. 

Urinary Tract Health

An aging prostate can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, as a result of its anatomical position. Lutein not only promotes healthy prostate size but its antioxidant properties help reduce occasional oxidative stress in the urinary tract. 

The presence of carotenoids in the blood, such as lutein, can help with occasional urinary symptoms associated with normal aging and promote normal urinary flow.

Hormone Support

Hormones change with normal aging, so it is important to maintain healthy levels for optimal muscle, cognitive, and reproductive health. Lutein helps support healthy hormone levels, so you can maintain optimal prostate, cognitive, and muscle health, as well as overall vitality.

Additional Health Benefits of Lutein

In addition to supporting prostate and urinary tract health, lutein helps promote health throughout the body in several ways.

Heart Health

As a potent antioxidant, lutein can protect your heart from occasional oxidative stress. Lutein also helps to promote healthy cholesterol levels, which supports arterial health, healthy blood pressure, and proper circulation. 

Eye Health

Lutein is found naturally in the eye, specifically in the macula. It provides support and protection to vision cells from the harsh effects of blue light. Lutein levels are reduced as part of normal aging, but with supplementation, you can help with age-related eye issues and promote long-term vision. 


Skin Health

The antioxidant properties of lutein support healthy skin cell aging, by reducing occasional oxidative stress caused by common environmental threats.

Recommended Intake of Lutein

Lutein can be found naturally in leafy greens like kale and spinach, as well as other foods that contain yellow pigments, such as corn and squash. You can also find lutein in broccoli, zucchini, and peas, but the chlorophyll masks the yellow coloring. 

The average intake of lutein through diet is 2 milligrams per day, but research shows that adults need between 15 and 40 milligrams for optimal health. Dietary supplementation becomes important for anyone not getting enough lutein through food.

Potential Side Effects of Lutein

There are very few side effects associated with lutein supplementation. Studies that span five years only identified the potential for skin yellowing as a result of excessive amounts of the pigment in the body. 

There is also the risk of eye crystals, which can impact vision, and these can develop with excessively high amounts of lutein. It is important to note that if you get adequate lutein from your diet, that you avoid supplements to make sure this does not happen. The crystals do disappear once lutein levels drop to normal. 

The Bottom Line

Lutein is an important antioxidant carotenoid found in many fresh fruits and vegetables and readily available as a supplement. Despite being most commonly associated with eye health, lutein is an important nutrient for prostate function and men’s overall health. A supplement with lutein and other prostate-healthy nutrients, like ProstateMD® can provide comprehensive prostate health, support a normal urination schedule, and promote quality of life for older men.