Perhaps the most damaging natural phenomenon for the eyes is the retinas exposure to sunlight. Blue light in particular is known to deteriorate the retina and degrade the vision of an individual. Researchers believe there may be a dietary supplement which can act like sunscreen for our eyes to help protect them from exposure to sunlight.
The key to this research is in macular carotenoids, a pigment in common foods such as carrots, spinach, broccoli and eggs. These primarily exist in vegetables cannot be created by humans but appear to be linked to qualities that enhance vision. Research indicates that ingesting foods that contain macular carotenoids not only protect the subject’s eyes but also provide enhancements in color contrast, glare reduction and in some cases further eyesight.
There are over six hundred known types of carotenoids with a particular kind, lutein, found in in our eyes. Luteins act essential as an antioxidant to help our eyes absorb less blue light and are believed to help eye recovery from long term exposure to light. This may be particularly helpful for employees who work behind a computer.
An ongoing study in Ireland from the Waterford Institute of Technology conducted by Professor John Nolan has yielded promising potential in developing a cure for mascular degeneration. His results show that approximately a healthy subject taking lutein supplements can experience a 10% – 15% improvement in vision while those with mascular degeneration could see up to 30% improvement.
Luteins work by creating a layer of yellow pigment in the center of the retina which in turn acts as a shield or sunscreen like film which absorbs and reflects blue light. Carotenoid supplements may become a new standard in dietary health to help maintain healthy eyes as the average human lifespan increases. Although these can be acquired from natural means such as corn, eggs and vegetables, 20 milligrams of carotenoids daily are need to achieve the results from the study making supplements a more viable solution. Researchers have also been investigating using carotenoid enhanced eggs to help provide a better variety for daily consumption.
Despite the benefits observed in the studies, these are not a cure all for vision impairments although it is believed that a regular diet of cartenoids can help maintain the health of an individual’s eyesight. Further research is still being conducted to explore the possibilities of macular carotenoids including investigations of their effects on the brain, cognitive functions and motor skills.Tags: health, research