Lutein is naturally found in a number of fruits and vegetables, especially those with deep green, orange, and yellow coloring. Lutein is a type of xanthophyll often used in treatment or prevention of eye diseases. Lutein supplements contain a natural substance classified as a carotenoid—a group of plant pigments with antioxidant effects. Lutein supplements provide a more concentrated supply of this antioxidant.
Lutein supplements are typically used in alternative medicine for eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Known to build up in the retina and lens of the eye, lutein is thought to protect the eye from injury induced by free radicals, chemical byproducts shown to damage cells and contribute to the development of certain diseases.