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Love Your Eyes.
Our windows to the world, eyes carry the same importance as the rest of our bodies when it comes to feeding them well. There are many healthy food options when it comes to nourishing your eyes. Carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene (a type of vitamin A), which helps maintain retina functions. Leafy greens and egg yolks provide lutein and other antioxidants that may lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts.
The eyes have it
Protect your site with lutein and zeaxanthin - nature’s top two nutrients for vision health.
By Vera Tweed former editor in chief of great life magazine and author of numerous books.
Most people think that preventing vision problems is something to worry about when they get older, but nutrition for your eyes is East Central throughout our lives, says optometrist Jeffrey Anshel, OD, president of the ocular nutrition Society and author of Smart medicine for your eyes. In particular, he says, “Lutein and zeaxanthin Re: central fight tote nutrients involved in the maintenance of eye health.”
Both lutein and zeaxanthin are found in various parts of our bodies, including the skin, heart, and brain, but they are most concentrated in the eyes, especially in the retina, through which light is filtered. They form what Dr. Anshel describes as “a yellow – orange pigment in the center of the eye, at the heart of the vision, to support contrast sensitivity and vision in dim light.”
One study, published in the American Journal of nutrition, compared the role of these pigments to internal sunglasses. By acting as a protective filter, they prevent damage to the inner parts of the eye by harmful forms of light. Other research has found that people with age – related macular degeneration (AMD) have lower levels of these pigments. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also strong antioxidants.
Breast milk naturally contains lutein to give babies a jump – start on healthy vision, but once they are waned, they may not get enough through their diets. At any time of life, if supplies fall short, vision suffers. And since our eyes are challenged but more than ever – thanks to our reliance on glare – in in inducing electronic gadgets – nutritional support is increasingly essential.
Vision research highlights
Studies show that higher blood levels of lutein in a zeaxanthin correspond with dense pigment in the retina, which improves vision at any age. For example, a study of 100 young adults at the University of Georgia, Athens, found that among these with higher blood levels of the nutrients, Blair had less impact, recovery from bright light was quicker, and overall vision was better.
Among older people, numerous studies have also found that lutein in a zeaxanthin reduce progression of age – related eye disease. The largest one, The Age – Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), tracked more than 4000 people aged 5285, and was funded by the national institutes of health. It found that lutein and zeaxanthin, in combination with other nutrients, lowered risk for advanced age – related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness, by 25%. The ARDDS study also found that when very low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin were corrected with supplements among people with cataracts, there was a 32 – percent reduction in the need for cataract surgery.
At Tufts University in Boston, researchers examined nutrients at brain tissue of deceased centenarians. They found higher the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin, the better the person’s mental function. And a higher zeaxanthin concentrations correlated with less dementia.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of high blood sugar and blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol, which raises risk for diabetes and heart disease. A study at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, found that low blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin correlated with metabolic syndrome. And they study by the national Institute on aging found that low levels of the nutrients are associated with depression among women.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in many supplements the two nutrients are also available in the proprietary form known LuteMax 2020. It contains a 5:1 ratio of lutein to zeaxanthin, which is the ratio found in human blood. “LuteMax 2020 should be taken by people of all ages,” says Dr. Anshel. Studies show, he says, that beneficial amounts of lutein range from 6 to 20 mg, and it’s recommended that zeaxanthin the one – this of the lutein dosage. LuteMax 2020, which typically delivers 20 mg of lutein and 4 mg of zeaxanthin in a daily serving, is found as an ingredient in various brands of supplements for eye health. Good dietary sources for lutein and zeaxanthin include leafy greens, especially kale and spinach, and egg yolks, but getting enough through your diet to support healthy vision isn’t easy. The amount of lutein in a cup of cooked vegetables, for example, ranges from about 44 mg in kale to 26 mg in spinach and 3 mg in broccoli.