Or the normal functioning of the human eye, a number of vitamins and minerals are required. A special place among them is occupied by carotenoids, in particular lutein and its isomer zeaxanthin.
These are yellow pigments found in large quantities in leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits.
Carotenoids are available in the cells of every single living thing, however, just lutein and zeaxanthin have been tracked down in the natural eye.
Their highest concentration is recorded in the macula of the retina. An individual can get the two substances from food, and zeaxanthin is likewise shaped straightforwardly from lutein.
The creation and maintenance of an optimal concentration of carotenoids in the retina of the eye help to strengthen vision.
How Lutein and Zeaxanthin Benefit
Under the influence of light, especially the short-wavelength part of the spectrum, free oxygen radicals are formed in the photoreceptor cells.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are able to neutralize them, thereby providing antioxidant protection to the eyes. In people who receive a sufficient amount of these carotenoids, the likelihood of developing age-related degenerative changes in the retina is reduced by 50%.
Antioxidant protection is also relevant for people who spend a lot of time at the computer and complain of tearing, pain in the eyes, and decreased visual acuity.
In addition, intense exposure to light with a wavelength of 400–500 nm can directly damage the retina and lead to clouding of the lens, but lutein and zeaxanthin work as optical filters, selectively absorbing this part of the light radiation. This reduces the likelihood of cataracts in older people.
Milk formulas enriched with lutein are used in the nutrition of children in the first year of life for the correct formation of the macula of the retina.
Plants containing lutein
The first step to getting enough carotenoids is enriching your diet with vegetables, fruits, and dark leafy greens, and consuming chicken eggs regularly.
Table 1. Top 10 food products in terms of lutein and zeaxanthin content
|Product||Lutein, μg / 100 g||Zeaxanthin, μg / 100 g|
Despite the fact that chicken eggs contain relatively small amounts of carotenoids, they are better absorbed than those obtained from plant foods. This is due to the presence of lipid components in the yolk.
Daily Value of Lutein
The intake of lutein in an adult’s body should be from 5 to 10 mg per day. In countries where it is common to regularly consume spinach, pumpkin, legumes, and green peas, this level is not difficult to maintain.
However, only a small percentage of adult Russians have dietary sources of carotenoids in the required amount, and in some, they are completely absent. By agreement with a specialist, this deficiency can be replenished with the help of bioactive food supplements.
Dietary supplements for vision
The indications for taking dietary supplements for the eyes are:
- unbalanced diet;
- increased visual stress;
- intense exposure to ultraviolet radiation;
- age over 50.
Lutein is a specially formulated botanical blend to preserve eye health. The dietary supplement contains:
- Spinach powder is a source of lutein and vitamin A.
- Blueberry and black currant extracts. They increase visual acuity, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and contain vitamin A.
Directions for use: 1 tablet daily with food for 1 month.
You can also take Natural Multicarotin, which contains lutein, lipoic, and vitamin A, as a source of carotenoids. Recommendations for use: 1 capsule 2 times a day with meals for 1 month.
Taking these drugs according to the instructions provides the body with a daily dose of lutein. The course can be repeated 2-3 times a year.