Lutein and Zeaxanthin are nutrients that are found in green leafy vegetables as well as corn and eggs. They have both been found to be of great benefit to eye health by reducing chronic eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Both can be found in many types of supplements if fruits and vegetables are not a large part of your diet.
Side Effects of Lutein
There are no documented side effects of Lutein but it is recommended that you do not take too much of the nutrient as it can possibly accumulate in the body. The American Optometric Association says that research shows that individuals should take 10mg of Lutein a day either through food or in supplement form.
Side Effects of Zeaxanthin
There are no reported side effects of Zeaxanthin but as with Lutein you should only take the suggested dosage as recommended by your physician. The AOA suggests individuals consume two mg of Zeaxanthin a day.
General Side Effects
If taking Lutein and Zeaxanthin in supplement form, there can be several side effects, depending on the supplement you choose. Drugs.com lists common side effects of multivitamins and minerals as upset stomach, headache or unusual taste in the mouth. For information about a specific supplement, talk to your health care provider before taking it.
Lutein supports healthy eyes and has been found to benefit the skin. The Lutein Information Bureau says it "...filters the high-energy, blue wavelengths of light from the visible-light spectrum by as much as 90%. Blue light, in both indoor lighting and sunlight, is believed to induce oxidative stress and possible free-radical damage in human organs exposed to light, such as the eyes and skin."
According to the American Optometric Association, "Beyond reducing the risk of developing eye disease, separate studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin improve visual performance in AMD patients, cataract patients and individuals with good health."
Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in various foods. Some are spinach, corn, green peas, broccoli, eggs, oranges, kale, collard greens and romaine lettuce.