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Tags: macula | carotenoids | vision | antioxidant

Carotenoids Protect the Eyes

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Tuesday, 09 April 2019 04:40 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Of the whole visual spectrum, blue light is most damaging to the retina. For instance, it is 100 times more damaging than orange light.

The carotenoid lutein is concentrated in the macula (it produces a yellow circle in the eye) because it is a blue light filter, as well as a powerful antioxidant.

Zeaxanthin, a related carotenoid, also protects the retina. In fact, these two substances are the most effective of all carotenoids for protecting the eye.

Most of the lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated around the macula. As you move toward the periphery, the concentration decreases rapidly, indicating that it is the macula that is most vital to vision.

Spinach and kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin.

Multiple studies have shown that people with eye diseases have much lower levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in their eyes, and that increasing intake of these carotenoids can reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

One study conducted in five ophthalmology centers found a significant protective effect for these carotenoids.

As noted, Caucasians are more likely to develop macular degeneration. A dose of 6 to 20 mg a day of lutein has been shown to reduce the incidence of this blinding disease.

The Eye Disease Case Control Study Group looked at the risk of macular degeneration and carotenoid levels in people’s serum and found a 66 percent lower incidence in people who tested highest for:

• Lutein

• Zeaxanthin

• Lycopene

• Beta-carotene

• Alpha-cryptoxanthin

Another study, which measured macular pigmentation density using a special instrument, found that people with macular degeneration had very low levels of pigmentation.

Giving these people high doses of lutein supplements raised their pigmentation back to normal levels.

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One study conducted in five ophthalmology centers found a significant protective effect for carotenoids.
macula, carotenoids, vision, antioxidant
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2019-40-09
Tuesday, 09 April 2019 04:40 PM
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