Kale contains more lutein than any other vegetable. (Photo by briannaorg)
Right in the footsteps of my silica experiment, I've started another experiment related to skin health. This time I'm testing lutein, a carotenoid occurring in green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach.
Of course, mixing experiments with similar expected outcomes like this makes attributing the results to the correct supplement more difficult. On the other hand, it will increase the chances of actually seeing results – which is a rare thing these days, I tell you.
I read good things about lutein on a forum and even came across a study suggesting that lutein might be beneficial for the skin (although I was unable to find the whole paper, there are pretty good summaries of it here and here). The participants were women aged between 25 and 50 with different skin types and premature signs of skin aging.
For 12 weeks, the women received one of the following treatments: an oral lutein supplement + topical lutein, an oral lutein supplement + topical placebo, oral placebo + topical lutein, or oral placebo and topical placebo. The oral supplement contained 10 mg of lutein along with 0.6 mg of zeaxanthin in safflower oil.
Lutein and skin health
Skin photo-protection improved 2.5 times with the oral lutein supplement and 4.2 times when both topical and oral treatment were used. For skin elasticity, the increases were 56% and 68%, respectively. Skin hydration improved by 82% after combined oral and topical treatment. Oral treatment and topical treatment alone resulted in a 60% and 62% improvements, respectively.
Skin lipid levels also increased; with combined treatment the increase was 63%. Oral treatment and topical treatment resulted in increases of 46% and 23%, respectively. Lipid peroxidation decreased by 65% when the combined treatment was used. Using only the topical lutein treatment resulted in a 63% decrease.
The human experiment
The supplement used in the study was called FloraGLO, manufactured by Kemin Health. For the purposes of my experiment, I ordered 100 grams of 5% lutein powder from purebulk.com, when it was on sale. According to the website, 1/8th of a teaspoon will give me 20 mg lutein, which should be more than enough.
I tried mixing the powder with water at first, but it doesn't dissolve well. You could probably mix it with yoghurt or something with a more solid consistency, but I'm currently taking my dose straight up. The taste is a bit weird but nothing too bad. I'll report success or failure in a few months.
For more information on skin health, see these posts:
Coconut Oil Is Better than Olive Oil for Atopic Dermatitis
Hyaluronic Acid for Skin & Hair – Experiment Conclusion
Topical Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid – Experiment Conclusion
How to Get Natural Sun Protection by Eating the Right Foods