Junk food industries have grown significantly over the years which literally removed fresh vegetables and fruits from our diet. All this inflict negative health consequences and one of the many is reduction of ‘lutein’ and associated compound ‘zeaxanthin’ which are important for overall eye health. A human body is unable to naturally produce ‘lutein’ which is why it has to be consumed from other sources. It’s important for promoting eye health and prevention against numerous vision anomalies.
‘Zeaxanthin’ and ‘lutein’ are both antioxidants and carotenoids. Of these, ‘lutein’ exist naturally in egg yolks and leafy green vegetables as well as fruits; specifically having red, green, red, purple and blue pigmentation. Finest examples are peas, corn, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and broccoli.
Many nutritional supplements are available publicly with ‘lutein’ content including numerous skincare products. Since eyes and skin on a human body are exposed to natural elements, additional prevention is required against free radicals. Lutein is an antioxidant which protects the skin from certain damage and offer additional prevention to the eyes and body against various diseases.
Lutein in the eyes
High concentration of both ‘zeaxanthin’ and ‘lutein’ is found in the retina. Concentration of zeaxanthin is higher in the macula whereas lutein is mostly found in the retinal periphery. Occurrence of both is in yellow pigments. The retinal centre is known as the macula which is responsible for the sharpest vision, bright and clear appearance of colour and light. Both lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the eye lens as well.
Fights Cataracts & Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
As we age, our vision strength drops slightly or significantly which often lead to macular degeneration. Small deposits are collected in the macula referred to as ‘drusens’ that damages the retinal cells. This is a ‘dry’ form of macular degeneration whereas a ‘wet’ form also exists that’s far more drastic and require immediate and professional treatment of the cornea in Abu Dhabi.
Medical research supports combination of lutein and zeaxanthin supplements helps preventing age-related macular degeneration. If someone has a family history of AMD, doctors suggest sufficient intake of lutein-rich diet before reaching adulthood.
The only carotenoids present in the eye lens are lutein and zeaxanthin whereas several medical studies often support ingestion of foods rich in both compounds to lower the cataract risk. Vitamin E is another antioxidant known to lower the risk of cataracts. Possibilities of treating cataracts and macular degeneration with lutein and zeaxanthin can be due to the pigmentation nature, the two nutrients absorb harmful UV rays.
Yellow pigments are known to form a natural barrier against blue light that’s damaging to the retinal cells thereby offer significant protection following increased intake of lutein and zeaxanthin rich foods. Blue light is extremely harmful to the person who recently underwent cataract surgery. This is one reason doctors often prescribe yellow-tinted sunglasses or yellow-shaded IOLs.
Eyes are most delicate part of a human body which require additional protection and immediate treatment against various diseases and vision-related anomalies. It’s best to adapt to a healthy lifestyle for resistance against conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration.