Lutein, found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables, is one of several important nutrients that helps protect the eyes from the free radical changes that can affect healthy eye function macular degeneration and cataracts. Two studies show that this carotenoid may support eye health in other ways as well.
In a small study published in the August journal of Applied Ergonomics, thirteen people took either a supplement containing lutein, zeaxanthin and blackcurrant extract or a placebo for a two-week period. In this "randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial," researchers from Singapore and Japan asked subjects to take the lutein-containing supplement or a placebo. Then each participant took part in a proof reading task "for 2 hours during each of four testing sessions." Blood pressure measurements, EEG, heart rate and other tests were collected before and after the 2 hour segments.
After two weeks, visual fatigue was measured through a test called the eye fixation related potentials (EFRP), which showed that a combination of lutein, zeaxanthin and blackcurrant extract helped relieve the symptoms of visual fatigue.
This isn't the first time that lutein has been shown to promote visual health. According to a study published earlier this year in the British Journal of Nutrition, lutein was shown to assist with contrast sensitivity (monitor glare) when participants in the study looked at a computer screen. In this 12-week study, researchers at Peking University in China recruited 37 people and divided them into three groups -- a group that took a placebo, a group that took 6 mg of lutein per day, and a group that took 12 mg daily.
The group that took the highest amount of lutein experienced the most improvements in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity measurements. This led the researchers to believe that a higher intake of lutein may have beneficial effects on visual performance. Lutein belongs to a family of antioxidants called carotenoids. It can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, kale, Swiss chard and broccoli, as well as in egg yolks. Adding lutein to your diet in the form of green leafy vegetables or supplements can help reduce eyestrain and provide important insurance for your eyes as you age.
VisiVite formulas with high doses of Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found at http://www.visivite.com/lutein-zeaxanthin.html.