Zeaxanthin and Lutein are 2 important nutrients for eye vision. They reduce chances of cataract and macular degeneration. They are carotenoid and cause pigmentation ranging in colour from yellowish to redish in vegetables. They absorb excessive blue light of sun to protect the plant from damage. Besides colourful vegetables and fruits, the compounds are present in human-eye macula.
According to recent research, the macula contains another carotenoid, named meso Zeaxanthin, which is created due to lutein-ingestion and is absent in food-items. The pigments contain vitamin E and C and beta carotene. Lutein protects against atherosclerosis too.
Benefits of Zeaxanthin and Lutein for eyes
Zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin and lutein prevents retinal structures from oxidative damage due to blue light, which causes AMD or acute macular degeneration.
They effectively increase the optical density of macular pigments in majority of humans.
They lower occurrence of AMD.
Greater degree of macular pigmentation may completely prevent macular degeneration.
They filter light with short wavelength and reduce or prevent generation of choroid and epithelium.
Results of National Eye Institute-sponsored Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) were published in mid-2013. It was conducted to follow-up the 5-year long first AREDS-report that was published in 2001. The study found that subjects who were on a diet with 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein daily for 5 years were 10% – 25% reduced AMD-progression risk. However, the study failed to establish whether they prevent eyes from cataract. However, in case of women, it has been bee found that those who had the carotenoid-rich diet faced lesser risk of cataract-development than those otherwise. However, AREDS2 established no role of the carotenoids in cataract-progression.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein-containing food
Green and yellow vegetables and green leafy vegetables are best sources of zeaxanthin and lutein. Cooked spinach and cooked kale are top among those. Egg-yolks are top non-vegetarian source of the carotenoids.
Zeaxanthin and Lutein-Supplements
Many nutritional supplements producers include zeaxanthin and lutein in mutli-nutrient formulae. Others have developed predominantly-zeaxanthin and lutein supplements as eye vitamin brands.
Currently, there is no RDI or RDA for the carotenoids. However, experts advise 6 mg of lutein should be taken daily for any clear benefit. Although, the right amount for adequate eye vision protection is unknown yet. Moreover, whether supplements are as effective as zeaxanthin and lutein obtained through natural food is uncertain as yet.
Any adverse side-effect of excessive consumption of zeaxanthin and lutein has not been found yet. Carotenemia, a harmless yellowish pigmentation of the epidermis has been found in a few people who consume excessive green and yellow citrus fruits and carrots. People often confuse it with jaundice but it condition disappears soon after reduction in consumption of such vegetables and fruits.
Some popular zeaxanthin and lutein supplements are:
- PreserVision by Bausch & Lomb
- OcuGuard Plus by TwinLab
- MacularProtect Complete by ScienceBased Health
- Macula Complete by Biosyntrix
- EyePromise Zeaxanthin by Zeavvision
However, it should be remembered that dietary supplements are not replacements to healthy diet. Besides, people should consult doctor for any adverse side-effect due to allergy.
Author Bio: Tony Rollan provides consulting services to VSI (http://www.patternless.com) and he is an author of many articles on all types of optical and ophthalmic equipment. Author blogs about medicine, health, alternative healing, sport and well being.
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