Lutein Supplements May Improve Recovery from Light & Degradation
According to data from the Lutein, Vision and Mental Acuity II (LAMA II) study, lutein and zeaxanthin may improve recovery from photostress and disability glare.
The Study on Lutein Supplements
Photostress recovery is “the amount of time the macular requires to return to its normal functioning level after exposure to a bright light source.” Disability glare has been defined as a “degradation of contrast which has been caused by a reduction in visual performance.”\
The study found that a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement was associated with increases in macular pigment density (MPOD) and significant improvements in photostress recovery (PSR), and disability glare (DG) thresholds after six months and 12 months. Researchers report, “The results of our study, particularly those from the PSR portion, are illustrative of effects elicited by both filtering of light by MPOD, and by retinal physiology enhancement by the [macular carotenoids].”
Your eyes are similar to a camera, and like a camera, if any part of your eye becomes damaged you do not get a clear picture. Some of the common risks that affect your vision are your lifetime exposure to sunlight, your age, and smoking. All of these contribute to cumulative damage that can affect the crystalline lens of the eye where cataracts can occur, clouding vision, or damage the sensitive macular region of the retina, also contributing to vision loss. These threats are magnified, especially if they occur in conjunction with a low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables or antioxidant supplements.
During our youth, there is a hearty supply of available nutrients to help protect the eyes – organs which consist of many smaller, delicate organs – from damaging effects of an unstable type of oxygen called free radicals. As we age, the pool of available nutrients decreases, exposing the eyes to the harmful impact of free radicals. As a natural reaction to protect itself, the eye is very selective in what it allows inside the cells. The activity of vision production alone releases a large volume of free radicals that can contribute to ocular aging. Many scientific studies have shown the benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin for eye health. Further studies support the use of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) for eye health, which creates Glutathione, and Bilberry to increase visual acuity and stamina for those with night blindness and tired eyes.
Drugs that Deplete Vision Health
Many drugs affect the eye, sometimes temporarily causing dryness or inflammation and sometimes causing permanent structural damage affecting the sharpness of your vision. Some of these drugs are commonly used and do not require a prescription. The entire family of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause visual side effects such as cataracts, dry eyes, and retinal hemorrhages that may result from long-term use. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium; all available without a prescription. Also acetaminophen, though not an NSAID, can be harmful. For a list of drugs and non-prescription medications that commonly deplete essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, click here.