Lutein is a type of carotene that is naturally present in breastmilk. In the diet, we get lutein from coloured fruits and vegetables such as dark green leafy vegetables. Carotenoids in general are antioxidants, but lutein specifically helps to protect the eyes from oxidative damage.
In babies, the central nervous system is busy collecting lutein either from breastmilk or infant formula and storing it to prevent oxidative damage to the developing retina . The retina and macula of your baby’s eyes are responsible for the development of detailed vision, and lutein helps to protect and support this essential development.
Fact: Did you know that a mother’s lutein levels in breastmilk are dependent on her own dietary intake? Just another reason to eat your greens, mummas! 
- Vishwanathan, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 May 25
- Kim, et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 May 25