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Lutein is a carotenoid found in large quantity in the eye's retina. It has antioxidant properties and filters blue light. Even though it is not considered to be an essential nutrient, since the body does not produce any, it has to come from the diet. Fatty foods increase its absorption.
Lutein is found in large amounts in curly kale, turnip tops, cooked green cabbage and cooked spinach. It can also be found in raw spinach, squash, broccoli, green peas and corn. In North America, average intake is 1 to 2 mg. Lutein supplements are also available.
There is insufficient reliable information to conclude that lutein is effective in any other indication.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.