Tag: zeaxanthin

Carotenoids for more than Eye Health, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 660

Carotenoids for more than Eye Health, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 660

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. CAROTENOIDS FOR MORE THAN EYE HEALTH, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 660 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed health 

You’re Older, think about taking these supplements, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 620

You’re Older, think about taking these supplements, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 620

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. YOU’RE OLDER, THINK ABOUT TAKING THESE SUPPLEMENTS  – INVITEⓇ HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 620 Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our 

Dry Eye: Supplements That Can Help- InVite Health Podcast, Episode 577

Dry Eye: Supplements That Can Help- InVite Health Podcast, Episode 577

dry eye

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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.

Dry Eye: Supplements That Can Help- InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode 577

Hosted by Jerry Hickey, Ph.

*Intro music*

InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InViteⓇ Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InViteⓇ Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!†

*Intro music*

Jerry Hickey, Ph.: [00:00:40] Dry eye syndrome is very common. With dry eye syndrome, your tears do not adequately lubricate your eyes and this leads to all kinds of symptoms and the symptoms can be terrible. Here’s the issue, dry eye syndrome affects up to 70% of older people. So it’s very common in older people. This is according to data in the journal Experimental Gerontology, but it can happen in any age group. Nutritional supplements have been shown to help, so we’ll go over that.† [00:01:09]

[00:01:09] So welcome to my episode, Dry Eyes: Supplements Can Help. My name is Jerry Hickey. I’m a licensed pharmacist and I specialize in nutrition. I’ve been studying nutrition for decades. You can find all of the InVite podcast episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or just go to invitehealth.com/podcast and please subscribe and leave a review because that’s very helpful. You can also find InVite on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at InViteⓇ Health. So let’s get going because this is common and it can be helped.† [00:01:41]


[00:01:42] Now, everything in medicine, everything in our biology, everything in nutrition has at least two names. So Dry Eye Syndrome is also known as Dysfunctional Tears Syndrome, Dry Eye Disease, Corrado Conjunctivitis, Sica and many more names. But they’re all the same thing. Now, the symptoms. Well, you’re going to get burning in your eyes. It’s going to feel like there’s a foreign body in the eye, like an eyelash, it’s going to feel gritty. Your vision could get blurred, your eyes get tired very easily. So they’re itching, they’re stinging, they get very sensitive to bright lights frequently. You can also develop discharge, you know, like that green stuff in the corner, your eyes or oddly and paradoxically, more tears but they’re not lubricating the eyes.† [00:02:32]

[00:02:33] So causes; well, there’s two types of glands for the eyes. There’s the lateral mole glands on the edges of the eyes that release the liquid, the fluid, the watery stuff. But then there is Meibomian, Meibomian glands, and it’s called Meibomian dysfunction. It’s a very common cause of dry eye syndrome, a.k.a. dry eye disease. These are glands along the rims of your eyelids, and they produce an oily sebum like substance that slows the evaporation of your tears. So obviously, if you’ve got a problem, with your Meibomian glands, the tears are going to evaporate very quickly. So common cause; one way to help sometimes the glands just get caked up with soot and dirt. So wash your lids, you know, use a no tear shampoo, the baby shampoo is to wash your lids.† [00:03:26]

[00:03:28] Now, drugs, this is very common among older people. And of course, this could be reversed if you can substitute a different drug or get off the drug. And the issue also is many older people are not on one drug. It’s called polypharmacy they’re on many drugs. And the more drugs you add together, the greater the risk of developing dry eyes. And 2009, a physician’s desk reference, which is usually abbreviated PDR listed a number of drugs out of the top 100 prescribed in America that caused dry eyes. Out of the top 100 selling drugs, prescribed drugs, 22 cause dry eyes. 56% of them could possibly contribute to dry eyes. So if you mix two or three of these drugs together, you’re going to have dry eyes. Now, many of them also cause dry mouth, by the way dry mouth is also a bad thing because when your mouth is dry, bacteria build up and they cause all kinds of inflammation that could travel throughout the body. Not a good thing.† [00:04:29]

[00:04:31] So here’s some of these drugs. This is from the Journal of Ophthalmology. Hormone replacement therapy, male hormones, too. So the hormone replacement therapy, the estrogen, progesterone therapy, male hormone therapy, testosterone, antihistamines, very common. People are taking antihistamines for allergies. There are better ways to treat allergies. Drugs for anxiety, drugs for depression. Aspirin. Aspirin could cause dry eyes, ibuprofen, yeah and sage could be toxic to the eyes. Atenolol, Atenolol is a beta blocking drug that they use for a racing heart or to help with heart failure to keep people alive or to help with high blood pressure, decongestant drugs, drugs for an enlarged prostate, also drugs for bladder issues can cause dry mouth. Even statin drugs can affect the eyes a little bit so a lot of drugs affect the eyes a little bit. So if you add up two or three, these drugs that affect your eyes a little bit, it winds up affecting the eyes a lot.† [00:05:33]

[00:05:35] Now, low humidity, like in the winter, your house is as arid as the Gobi Desert. Your house gets very dry, so you have to keep some source of fluid around, you know, like a vaporizer. Or if you live in a dry region of the country, you know, like a desert, like out of Arizona or New Mexico.† [00:05:51]

[00:05:53] Another common cause is Sjogren Syndrome, it’s an autoimmune disease. Now there’s at least 100 autoimmune diseases where your immune system attacks your body. So, for instance, rheumatoid arthritis pretty much just attacks your joints, although it can attack other organs, too, and other tissues. But rheumatoid arthritis attacks your joints and systemic lupus erythematosus can attack your heart and your skin and and your kidneys, etc. So in Sjogren’s syndrome, your immune system typically attacks your lacrimal glands, those are the ones on the eyes that secrete the watery substance, into your tears. And it also attacks your salivary glands in your mouth, you know, the salivary creating glands it could be much worse than that. They can attack other things, too. It’s more common after menopause, obviously, it’s more common in women.† [00:06:43]

[00:06:45] Believe it or not but it’s temporary watching too much TV. Huh? I like to binge watch series, you know, like Peaky Blinders, but I take supplements that prevent the eyes from getting tired and dried out like I take lutein, I take a product called Lutein Plus HxⓇ that would prevent that from happening. But watching too much screen time, like on a computer, it reduces blinking. And when you reduce blinking, that contributes to dry eyes. Blinking is one of the most important defenses of your eyes, by the way. You blink extremely quickly, for instance, if something a projectile is coming out your eyes, but you also normally blink 15 to 20 times per minute. Now the blinking triggers, the formation of tears and a release of the tears. So blinking is actually really good for your eyes, because tears, first of all, tears contain antimicrobial agents like lysozyme and lactoferrin, Aleppo, calcium and immunoglobulins, so they help protect you from viruses and bacteria. But tears can also cleanse our eyes to some degree, as well as lubricating the eyes. So these are really important. So remember to blink.† [00:07:59]

[00:08:00] Obviously, if you don’t have enough tears, it’s going to lead to dry eye syndrome. Or if your tears are too thick, this happens or if your tears evaporate too quickly. Lacking vitamin A, vitamin A is important for many tissues and for the immune system and many organs. But lacking vitamin A contributes to dry eye syndrome and poor vision by the way. Now, here’s an interesting thing, because diabetes is also a risk factor that I’ll get into for dry eye syndrome. A lot of people get their vitamin A from vegetables, you know, like like broccoli and sweet potatoes, etc. But that’s not really vitamin A, that’s beta carotene. And beta carotene is stored in the liver and it’s slowly in a sensible, controlled fashion, converted to vitamin A. That’s why beta carotene can never be toxic. And diabetics and also people with thyroid disease. They have trouble converting beta carotene to vitamin A. So that might be a reason why people with diabetes have dry eyes. But we’ll go into that a little bit more in a minute. So lacking vitamin A is a cause. So that’s why when I make a supplement for a diabetic or somebody with thyroid disease, I like to put a little bit of natural vitamin A in there.† [00:09:18]

[00:09:19] Contact lenses; while contact lenses kill off the healthy bacteria of your eyes, your eyes have a microbiome just like your skin and just like women’s fragile tissue and like their breast milk and their milk ducts and your intestines. So you have these microbiomes living with you, a complex mixture of bacteria and viruses and yeast, etc. and when you wear a contact lens, it kills off your good bacteria and it can lead to dry eye syndrome. But I mean, that’s the reason why it leads to infections. You’re killing off the good bacteria to protect the eyes.† [00:09:52]

[00:09:54] Lasik surgery, be careful with this stuff. This is the laser surgery of the eye for Better Vision. I’ve had people had developed some serious reactions to Lasik surgery, but I don’t know how common that is. That might not be common at all. But the Lasik surgery, when it causes dry eye syndrome, it normally clears up within 2 to 3 months. But it doesn’t always. Sometimes with lasik surgery, the dry eyes become permanent.† [00:10:25]

[00:10:26] Now let’s talk about diabetes, there’s different types of diabetes like this, gestational diabetes that women suffer from when they’re pregnant. And there’s type one diabetes where the immune system attacks the pancreas, the insulin producing cells. And then there’s type two diabetes, which is by far the most common that adults typically develop, although it’s shifting to younger and younger people because of the obesity epidemic in the United States and throughout the world. But generally, we saw type two diabetes in older people. One cause of that could be they may not have enough receptor sites for the insulin, but the more common causes, they’re not exercising and they’re chubby, they’re overweight. So the term diabetes mellitus covers all types of diabetes, but those are the three most common forms. Type one diabetes, type two diabetes and gestational diabetes. So in a journal International Ophthalmology, researchers grouped together four different studies, over 2,500,000 subjects in the studies. There was a significant association between forms of diabetes and dry eye disease. Dry eye syndrome. Now, for one thing, diabetes kills off your friendly bacteria. So this can affect the eyes, just like you can affect the heart and the brain and the liver and many other organs and tissues. But also, diabetes makes it hard for you to form vitamin A out of the beta carotene in fruits and vegetables. So that’s a problem without Vitamin A. That’s an issue for the eyes. And also, diabetes causes inflammation pretty much everywhere in the body, including in the eyes. So this is going to confound the normal function of the eyes.† [00:12:06]

[00:12:07] So what are some solutions for dry eye syndrome? Well, artificial tears. So they use polymers that make the eyes lubricated, like, you know, the lubricating eye drops, the artificial tears. Now, don’t let the term polymers scare you. You’re actually made out of polymers. The number one ingredient in your body is water. And the number two ingredient is collagen, which is a polymer. A polymer just means you have a long chain of one single substance and that chain is repeated over and over and over again. So, for instance, 30% of your body or something like that is collagen around that. It makes up like 36% of your bones, 67% of collagen in your joints, about 70% of your skin. Your skin is made out of polymers because the other polymer in there is hyaluronic acid, which we’re going to get to right now, because hyaluronic acid is the typical polymer they use in artificial tears.† [00:13:04]

[00:13:06] Now hyaluronic acid is an injection they shoot into people’s knees who for some reason can not have knee replacement surgery. But their knee is totally destroyed and each one is totally destroyed. They get it usually from the Cox comb. So they make synthetic hyaluronic acid. That’s a polymer. And a thing about hyaluronic acid, it’s a hydrogel. It holds many times its weight and water like at least ten times its weight in water. So when you put drops of hyaluronic acid into your eyes along with fluid and lubricants, etc., it really does a pretty good job of of wetting your eyes and keeping them wet. So in the daytime, they usually give you drops. And at nighttime, they usually give you a cream or an ointment. The reason they can’t give you a cream and ointment in the daytime is it can blur your vision temporarily.† [00:13:59]

[00:14:01] So let’s look at some of the supplements and I’d say top of the list is whatever gives you fish oils. And I wouldn’t count on eating fish unless you’re eating it every day. So I would definitely do fish oils or krill oil. There is one study that was riveting that showed that krill oil may have been superior to fish oils, we’ll get to that. So the Cochrane database of systematic reviews is pretty dependable, it’s highly thought of, and they review anything to do with the body and health and science, the health of the body. So they look at drug studies and studies on different diets and studies on different laser techniques and study, you know, anything that affects the body. Different surgeries, different supplements, different herbs. And what they do is they go around the world and they appoint specific people to review the studies. Typically, somebody who has some background and what they’re reviewing. So in this case, they picked Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the IBM Watson Health Center in Baltimore, Maryland, and also the University of Melbourne over in Australia. And they looked at 34 randomized controlled human clinical trials from 13 countries. That’s a lot of data, and they showed that the fish oil ingredients to EPA and the DHA increase tear production and improve the quality of your tears. Now so that could be fish oil, that could be krill or eating fish every day.† [00:15:45]


[00:15:47] So, I mean, this makes sense. Dry eye syndrome becomes more common with age. Now, this is just a hypothesis. Nobody’s ever put this together, to my knowledge. Dry eye syndrome becomes more common with age. The amount of fish oils in your eyes, declines with age. Fish Oils are very important to your vision they’re needed for fine vision, they’re needed for color vision, they need it to prevent inflammation in the eyes. So it makes sense. Now, if you try a supplement for dry eyes, you have to give a time because anything that works in the eyes that you swallow because you’re swallowing the fish oils, you’re not rubbing them on your eyeballs anything that you swallow, it takes time to build up in the eyes. And first of all, it has to travel through the brain and the brain grabs whatever it needs and things that are good for the eyes are good for the brain. I have never seen something that’s good for the eyes that’s not good for the brain. [00:16:42]

[00:16:43] So the brain’s got to grab what it needs, that might not be any left over for the eyes. And this is something that occurs with age, with many things that are important for the eyes. Like zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin, fish oils. There’s less of them reaching the eyes with age because there’s less reaching the brain with age, because we absorb less from our food. And that’s just the way it is. And if there’s not enough of the brain, the brain’s going to grab what it can and very little is going to dribble down to the eyes. So if you try these supplements, give them some time and you swallow them, of course.† [00:17:18]

[00:17:19] So this is the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut, their Department of Ophthalmology. And they said, hey, fish oils, the EPA and DHEA have been shown to help dry eye syndrome. I just wanted to say that because it’s all different, researchers saying this. So here’s the journal Ophthalmology, January 2017, it’s the University of Melbourne Department of Vision Sciences because the University of Melbourne has done a lot of research on fish oils. The Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity, that’s also in Melbourne, Australia. And they took patients with dry eye syndrome and they were supplementing them with fish oils or krill oil or a placebo. Now both fish oils and krill oil made the tears more liquidy and less likely to evaporate. So better at moisturizing the eye is better at lubricating the eyes. And this is compared to placebo. But only the krill improved the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, which is also called dry eye disease.† [00:18:26]

[00:18:28] So the krill oil and this took time, didn’t happen overnight. It reduced the grittiness, the feeling of a foreign object in the eyes, you know, like dirt, less stinging, less itchiness all in all, it was actually improving the symptoms. So here’s the journal of so here’s the journal of Ophthalmological and Physiological Optics. That’s a good British journal the optometrist and optricians in Great Britain use that it gets better than the fish oils or the krill oils just making the tears more liquidy and better at lubricating the eyes, because they found that the fish oils that are in krill or fish oil capsules protect the nerves of the eyes of people with dry eye syndrome. So it’s helping put off long term damage to your your visual system.† [00:19:27]

[00:19:29] Now let’s look at some other supplements. This is the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It’s August 2020 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. That’s down in Nashville. And this was along with various Chinese research institutions. So international studies are very common cooperation between researchers and scientists throughout the world are getting more and more common because of the Internet. It’s easier and texting and all this. So it was 360 patients with dry eye syndrome. They gave them a placebo or they gave them a supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin their pigments you find in fruits mostly and vegetables. But along with the lutein and zeaxanthin, there was black currant. Now that’s interesting.† [00:20:19]

[00:20:20] Black currant is also called cassis and it has these purplish deep blue pigments in it, like Malvidin that are very good for the eyes. They also used chrysanthemum and Goji Berry. Goji Berry is loaded with antioxidants, so it reduces inflammation. And the supplement was very good in people who are suffering with dry eyes from like being on computers, etc., for the eye fatigue, for the blurry vision and for the eye soreness. So it really is worth using because it’s an anti-inflammatory that kind of like supports the functions of the eyes, lutein and zeaxanthin. You can add to that some zinc, some vitamin C, some natural vitamin E, some Bilberry, some cassis berry, which is also called black currant. And you can add some what else would also be good and some natural beta carotene. The supplement will help with the eye fatigue and the blurriness, etc.† [00:21:20]

[00:21:20] So here’s the journal PLoS One, which is a great American journal that our tax dollars pay for. It’s the objective of PLoS One to spread good information throughout the world to people who cannot afford a subscriptions to medical journals. So if you were a single doctor, a single practice doctor, and some small town in North Dakota, you have access to good information. Even though you’re not making the money and you don’t have the money, you get this information for free. So PLoS One is cool, it’s heroic. So this is PLoS One January 2016. It’s various research institutions in Korea, medical schools and hospitals and clinics, etc. That’s over 17,500 patients with dry eye syndrome. And here’s what they found, when they compared people with healthy eyes to those with dry eye syndrome, the vitamin D in their blood was consistently lower in dry eye syndrome.† [00:22:24]

[00:22:24] Now, we do know that vitamin D is an anti-inflammatory. We do know vitamin D helps lower the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. And we also know that vitamin D does play some part and functions in the eyes. It’s very important in the brain, but it’s also important in the eyes. So it’s not going to hurt to take some vitamin D, if you have some dry eye syndrome, take it with food, it’s absorbed better. So here’s a little bit more evidence for vitamin D. This is a systematic review and a systematic review, which is easier to do today. Scientists and doctors and researchers going to all these different medical web sites and they gather all the data on the specific type of subject they’re looking for.† [00:23:09]

[00:23:09] So in this case, they gathered data on people with dry eye syndrome and vitamin D it’s in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica, which is a good European eye journal and it was ten studies included in their review, about 19,000 patients. Patients with dry eye syndrome had lower levels of vitamin D than patients with healthy eyes. So it’s more of the same. But here’s what they found. The worse the level of vitamin D, the lower the level of vitamin D, the worse the symptoms, the more severe the symptoms of dry eye syndrome and less the production of tears. So as vitamin D levels declined, the there was fewer tears and the health of the tears were decreasing and the symptoms were worsening.† [00:24:03]

[00:24:05] So here’s what I would recommend. If you have dry eye syndrome, using an eye drop in the daytime and artificial tears is fine. They’re nontoxic, get a good one and make sure it has some hyaluronic acid in it and which is natural to the human body by the way, your skin is about 20 or 30% hyaluronic acid that holds the moisture in to your skin. It’s also in the whites of your eyes the whites of your eyes is basically hyaluronic acid water and a little collagen and it’s in you knee joint. And then use a good vitamin for the eyes like a good one that I’ve used in the past that I give to my wife is called Macula Hx, it’s a nice combination. And then take the additional lutein, with zeaxanthin. Definitely take fish oils, like I take two a day to preserve the health of my brain and my heart, my muscles, my bones and my eyes. Cause fish oils affect all those. So take the Fish Oils because they’re good for your brain and your eyes. Take a good vision related supplement. Make sure that beta carotene and vitamin E are natural or they’re not going to work as well. The beta carotene and vitamin E have to be natural sourced. The synthetic source doesn’t work as well. And get some additional lutein and zeaxanthin and it really should help you. Make sure in that eye and vision formula there’s a good amount of zinc like 30-40 milligrams of zinc.† [00:25:36]

[00:25:38] So thank you for listening to today’s podcast episode. You can find all of our episodes for free or wherever you listen to podcasts, just go to invitehealth.com/podcast. You can also find InVite on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at InViteⓇ Health. And of course, if you listen to the podcast, could you please subscribe and leave us a review? It’s helpful. I want to thank you for listening. Hope to see you next time in the next episode of the InVite HealthⓇ podcast. This is Jerry Hickey signing off. Have a great day.† [00:25:38]

*Exit Music* 

Blue Blockers Protecting Vision Problems, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 571

Blue Blockers Protecting Vision Problems, Part 2 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 571

Are you on your computer, playing Xbox, or watching TV? The Blue Blockers will help to enhance your brain and eye fatigue. Listen now to learn more!

Blue Blockers Protecting Vision Problems, Part 1 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 570

Blue Blockers Protecting Vision Problems, Part 1 – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 570

Join Jerry Hickey, Ph as he talks about the connection of green leafy vegetables and how they work as blue light blockers.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: You Need These For Your Memory – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 537

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: You Need These For Your Memory – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 537


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Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: You Need These For Your Memory – InVite Health Podcast, Episode 537

Hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH

*Intro music*

InVite Health Podcast Intro: Welcome to the InVite Health Podcast, where our degreed healthcare professionals are excited to offer you the most important health and wellness information you need to make informed choices about your health. You can learn more about the products discussed in each of these episodes and all that InVite Health has to offer at www.invitehealth.com/podcast. First time customers can use promo code PODCAST at checkout for an additional 15% off your first purchase. Let’s get started!

*Intro music*

Jerry Hickey, Ph.: 

[00:00:40] Lutein and zeaxanthin. These are two words that become increasingly important to us as we grow older. They’re nutrients found in food. The problem is you absorb less from your food as you grow older, and that’s an issue for your memory, your brain, and your vision. Now, I’ve done a number of podcast episodes on lutein and zeaxanthin, but there’s more evidence now, very strong evidence, how important it is for your memory, especially as you grow older. So these are pigments in plants, and when you eat certain foods, I’ll go over these foods near the end of the podcast episode, you build them up in the eyeball and they form a screen, a shield called your macular tissue. And this in turn blocks blue lights from getting into the back of the eyes and the back of the eyes has these very vulnerable little organs you need for fine vision and blue light can cause inflammation in these organs. I’ll explain why in a minute because it’s so high energy and this can destroy your vision. It’s not uncommon in aging people. It’s called age-related macular degeneration, the number one cause of blindness in aging people. So the lutein and zeaxanthin help create this buffer that blocks the blue light from getting too deep into the eyeball.† [00:01:59]

[00:02:00] So blue light, why is it so dangerous? It’s super high energy. It’s made out of these very short waves of light, these very short rays, so many more of them are hitting your eyeball than from other colors across the spectrum. So they bombard the eyes and they create a glare. And this uses up lutein and zeaxanthin and they start to penetrate into the eyes. Now in young people, this just makes their brain and their eyes tired. That’s why I always recommend to people who have a kid in college working on their Ph.D. or somebody who’s doing a lot of reading and editing work, etc, work on the computer a great deal, take a lutein supplement, take a lutein and zeaxanthin supplement. It’s not going to hurt. It’s going to be helpful. But in older people, when you use up the lutein and zeaxanthin, it can actually affect their brain permanently. So normally the lutein and zeaxanthin help filter out blue light. They help with night vision. They help with glare recovery. You know, when you’re driving in a rain or the snow or at night, etc., and there’s a glare from oncoming headlights that blind you. You recover quicker with lutein and zeaxanthin. It’s needed for visual acuity. You know, how good can you see at a distance, etc. It’s needed for contrast sensitivity, picking something out from the background. So it’s a very important for the eyeballs, but it’s… Across your lifespan, like I’ve said before, it’s very important for your memory and your brain.† [00:03:27]

[00:03:28] So think about it. Anything that reaches the eyes has to travel through the brain to get there. So the things that are generally good for the eyes are generally good for the brain. So welcome to my episode, Lutein and Zeaxanthin: You Need These Nutrients for Your Memory. My name is Jerry Hickey. I’m a licensed pharmacist specializing in nutrition. You can find all of our InViteⓇ episodes for free wherever you listen to podcast episodes or go to invitehealth.com/podcast. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at InViteⓇ Health. And please, when you listen, if you could leave a review and if you could subscribe, it would be helpful. So let me get on with this.† [00:04:13]

[00:04:14] Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids. There’s hundreds of carotenoids we know about. The body uses many scores of them. The one you’re probably most familiar with is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is needed for the immune system. It’s needed for your skin. It’s needed for vision. It’s needed for other things, too. Beta-carotene converts into Vitamin A, which is interesting. It’s controlled by the liver. So it’s it’s converted into Vitamin A at sort of a set, a steady state. So there’s really no toxicity for beta-carotene. Vitamin A itself, if you have too much, can be toxic. But taking beta-carotene, not an issue. There is a drawback. People with thyroid disease and people with diabetes have a tough time converting beta-carotene into Vitamin A, so they should actually have a small amount of Vitamin A on a regular basis. So the lutein and zeaxanthin are pigments in in foods. They’re in the carotenoid family. And they do not convert to Vitamin A. They’re very safe. They’re extremely safe. If you take them as a supplement, take them with food because they’re fatty soluble, you’ll absorb them better.† [00:05:28]


[00:05:31] So the lutein and zeaxanthin are important to your vision and memory across your entire lifespan. They’re the most common pigments in your brain. Levels decline with age because it’s harder to absorb them from your meals. So there’s a very good new study, well-powered, using lutein and zeaxanthin and it’s going to help most older adults with memory. Adults with mild memory loss… See, most older adults do not develop Alzheimer’s disease, even though Alzheimer’s disease, it’s incredibly scary, most older people do not develop it. But those people will typically develop some level of memory loss, which is called subjective memory loss. Subjective memory loss might be just noticed by that one person. For instance, a gentleman might say to his wife, “Honey, I’m forgetting things.” And she’ll turn around, say, “Oh, no, you’re not, Harry. You’re fine.” That’s subjective memory loss. It’s not anything serious. It’s a common cause of absentmindedness and forgetfulness in older people. I do think part of that stems from people not having the demands of work on them. When you have to do work, you have to get it done in a certain time, in a certain way, and you have to use your brain for that specifically. And that puts a kind of demand on the brain that keeps you sharper. So I do think that a part of the age-related mild memory loss is very reversible just by doing things that really cause you to, you have to have this need to get things done. But more than likely, people who do not develop Alzheimer’s, the great percentage of older adults, they’re going to develop the subjective memory loss, this mild form of memory loss in people over the age of 60.† [00:07:33]

[00:07:35] So this brand new study, it’s a six-month study, it’s in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, which is a very interesting journal. It’s a good journal. Now, bear in mind, when you consume foods and lutein and zeaxanthin are reaching your eyeballs, they have to travel through your brain. And the body is very clever in how it uses things. It uses them in multiple ways. So anything that’s passing through the brain that’s important for the eyes is likely going to be really important for the brain. And that’s, that’s really what the research shows. So you’re absorbing less with age, so you really should think about a really good supplement of lutein and zeaxanthin. I mean, the ability of them to improve your vision and your memory as you age and also safeguard them from a decline… The research, the level of evidence gets a resounding yes, that it absolutely works. It’s putative, I believe it as a healthcare professional. So the study, like I said, is in Frontiers in Nutrition. It’s the Clinical Research Australia Group and Murdoch University, which is in Perth, Australia. They worked together for this study. And when you look at the data on lutein and zeaxanthin, they’re the number one and two pigments in the brain in like babies. They have a huge amount of this. And across our our life, the level declines in the, in the brain. But it’s very important for a bunch of parts of the brain involved with cognitive functions and knowing where you are, like your brain’s GPS and your hippocampus. Your hippocampus is where you’re learning through and you’re, you’re, you’re starting to store memories. So it’s an important thing. The hippocampus, when you learn something now, you store it in the hippocampus, but the hippocampus is vulnerable to damage. So when you go to sleep at night, when you go into deep sleep at night… When you go into deep sleep at night, you move the memories from your hippocampus to the long term memory parts of the brain. So the hippocampus, an important organ, obviously, for learning and memory, is, should be loaded with lutein. But like I said, the level drops with age.† [00:09:53]


[00:09:55] So in this study, it was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind human clinical trial, which is a gold standard state of the art human clinical trial. 90 people between the age of 40 to 75. They gave them a placebo, which is an inactive pill needed for comparison’s sake, or they gave them 10mg of lutein with 2mg of zeaxanthin in a capsule and they gave them a a number of different tests like computer based cognitive tests. Now compared to placebo over the six month period, the lutein and zeaxanthin really help them with memory and learning and improved visual episodic memory. It improved visual learning. And these are people with subjective memory complaints. So these are people who are complaining that they’ve lost a little bit of memory. Now, there’s a lot of research proving this. There’s a lot of research backing this up, like previous studies showed that older people, given lutein, had better word recall or better delayed word recall also. So delayed word recall would be like, I’d give you five words and then we’d have a little mini lecture and then all of a sudden I’d say, “What are those five words?” Or ten words. Better overall brain function, all around better cognitive function.† [00:11:15]

[00:11:18] But also vision. And it doesn’t take a long time for the lutein and zeaxanthin to benefit your vision and your memory. The Moran… So this one was over six months of improved memory. The Moran Eye Center at University of Utah did a one-year study in elderly people, and lutein and zeaxanthin versus placebo really improved their visual performance. So it doesn’t take an awful long time to make a difference.† [00:11:41]

[00:11:43] So what do you do? Well, you can get lutein and zeaxanthin in certain foods like lutein would be found in dark green, leafy vegetables. Even though it’s kind of like an orange amber color, it’s hidden by the greenness, by the chlorophyll in the vegetables. So you’d find it in kale and spinach and broccoli and broccoli rabe and bok choy and vegetables like that. But you also find it in egg yolks and you also find it in corn. Now, the zeaxanthin is yellow. It’s bright level, bright yellow. So it’s named after corn. The Latin binomial name for corn is zeamaize. So the zeaxanthin is called zeaxanthin because it’s so yellow. You’d find that in orange and yellow foods, so you’d find it once again in egg yolks and corn, so that’s good because you’re getting both pigments in egg yolks and corn. You’d also find it in orange bell peppers, you’d find it in oranges and tangerines and fruits of that kind. I recommend taking a pill. I do every morning. Let me tell you my experience. I’m on my computer a lot. I’m on screens a lot. I used to be more because I was working full time. Now I’m only doing this part time. I’m an older guy. I want to enjoy my life. I want to have time left over for exercise and gardening and seeing the grandkids, etc. So when I go on the screens, my eyes get tired. If I take a lutein supplement when my eyes are tired with a little snack, so I absorb it better, within like 5 or 10 minutes, the eye fatigue is gone. It’s rather remarkable how quickly it gets to my eyes, but I take it on a daily basis. My wife does too. I insist on it for her.† [00:13:37]

[00:13:37] Now there are other supplements that are good for the memory. Acetyl-L-carnitine and alpha-lipoic acid, activated B-vitamins. There are certain nutrients and foods that the brain just grabs, like B-vitamins. B-vitamins create energy out of calories. The brain grabs the B-vitamins in your food. So in older people taking B-vitamins, especially activated B-vitamins, I’ve done some podcast episodes on those, is very important for the brain. Plus, it helps protect the brain. If you lack certain activated B-vitamins, like you can’t activate B12 or you can’t activate folic acid, a chemical builds up in a brain called homocysteine that really damages your memory. Really damages your memory. In fact, it’s a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. So activated B-vitamins for us older folks are really important. An example would be Methylcobalamin for B12 and Methyltetrahydrafolate for folic acid. Vitamin E and Vitamin C. They protect the brain. Fish oils, of course. I prefer krill because there’s other nutrients in krill that are great for the brain, like phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. Probiotics are important for the brain. Turmeric, a well-absorbed turmeric, is great for the brain. It does many things for the brain. We’ve done some podcast episode on it. Resveratrol or real cocoa for circulation to the brain.† [00:14:58]


[00:15:00] In any event, I want to thank you for listening to today’s episode. You can find all of our InViteⓇ episodes wherever you listen to podcasts and they’re free. Or you could go to invitehealth.com/podcast. You can also find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at InViteⓇ Health. When you listen to our episodes, could you please subscribe and also leave us a review? I want to thank you for listening. Hope to see you next time on the next episode of the InViteⓇ Health Podcast. Jerry Hickey signing off.† [00:15:00]

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