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Dr. Eric Berg is a chiropractor who specialises in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods and is a world-renowned ketogenic diet expert, published writer, and author of the bestselling book “The 7 Principles of Fat Burning”. His goal is to help people take control of their bodies through a healthy Keto diet and intermittent fasting. Drberg.com.

Read the other posts in Dr. Berg's series on the advantages of eating eggs.

The Role of Carotenoids 

Carotenoids are plant based chemicals, pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. Carotenoids act as antioxidants in the human body and considered vital nutrients with a lot of health benefits. You've probably heard some of their names like beta-carotene with regard to carrots and lycopene associated with tomatoes before.

 

In a population of 786 Australian elders, higher concentrations of carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin) and vitamin C in plasma were associated with longer Telomere Length, which is positively correlated with longevity. 

 

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the egg yolks that concentrate mostly in the human eyes retina and macula, and to a lesser extent, in the liver and brain. Both of these compounds can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts.

Dietary Sources high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin
(µg/g fresh weight)

Food  Lutein Zeaxanthin
Basil 70.5 included with lutein
Parsley 64.0 - 106.5 included with lutein
Spinach 59.3 - 79.0 included with lutein
Kale 48.0 - 114.7 -
Leek 36.8 included with lutein
Pea 19.1 included with lutein
Lettuce 10.0 - 47.8 -
Green pepper 8.8 -
Broccoli 7.1 - 33.0 included with lutein
Carrot 2.5 - 5.1 included with lutein
Red pepper 2.5 - 85.1 5.9 - 13.5
Egg yolk 3.84 - 13.2 -
Pistachio 7.7 - 49.0 -
Corn tortilla 72.5 105.3
Corn chips 61.1 92.5
Corn 21.9 10.3
Einkorn wheat 7.4 0.9
Khorasan wheat 5.5 0.7
Durum wheat 5.4 0.5
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705341

 

The consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin rich foods should be combined with reduced consumption of inflammatory vegetable oils like soy, corn, canola and cottonseed oil, which promote free radical damage.

The Omega-6 polyunsaturated fat, linoleic acid, promotes oxidative stress, oxidised LDL, chronic low-grade inflammation and atherosclerosis especially when consumed in the form of vegetable oils. Therefore avoiding the Omega-6 fatty acids and consuming foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin can help decrease the risk of damage to the macula as well as the lens.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is an opaque cloudy area that forms in the lens of the human eye. In case of degeneration in the macula, a person is going to lose vision in the central part of an eye and will see things less defined.

macular degeneration as a cause of blindness

Image source

Studies have shown that in addition to sunlight, blue light can lead to the development of cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin help filter blue light by absorbing it, which is one of the great benefits of consuming eggs.

 

References:

https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids

Kunal K
Kunal K

Co-Founder, OptimOZ.com.au



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