Role of nutrients in eye health and age-related macular degeneration:
Nutrition plays a very important role in your eye health. There are many nutrients that support eye health but lutein and zeaxanthin play especially significant roles.
These two nutrients may help maintain eye function, as well as offer protection against age-related degenerative diseases like AMD (age-related macular degeneration), and cataracts.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that can be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale. They can also be found in sweet corn, red grapes, and one of the best sources, egg yolks. Egg yolks are considered to be one of the best sources because of their high fat content and this is because carotenoids are best absorbed when eaten with fat (so add some olive or avocado oil to your salad dressings).
Why are lutein & zeaxanthin effective for eye health?
It is believed that lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Also, they appear to block blue light from reaching the structure of the retina. This reduces the risk of light-induced oxidative damage, which could lead to AMD.
The 5-year ADREDS study suggested that taking a daily antioxidant supplement including vitamins A, C, E, Zinc and copper reduced the risk of progressive AMD by 25%. The follow up study ADRES2 that added lutein and zeaxanthin to the protocol had a 10 – 25% reduction in AMD progression.
Supplements are an easy way to ensure you are getting these two important nutrients for optimal eye health.