Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Do they really help Eyes and Vision?

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Good nutrition is essential not just for a healthy body but also for good vision. Each of us can live free of eye diseases and vision problems if we fulfill our nutritional requirements. In this regard, lutein and zeaxanthin are creating waves around the world for their ability to protect the eyes. The two antioxidants can help you deter age-related vision issues and even prevent cataracts.

In this blog, we will explore how lutein and zeaxanthin help vision and if they are what you need.

Does Lutein and Zeaxanthin Help Vision?

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants found in our eyes and vegetables. In our eyes, lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the retina and lens. They are also found in the macula of our eyes and give it a yellow color.

The two antioxidants are also present in vegetables, and that is how they reach our eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin can prevent eye damage and many chronic eye diseases that come with old age.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Protects Against Eye Diseases

According to the American Optometric Association, lutein and zeaxanthin lower the risk of developing new cataracts. Additionally, both are good nutrients for our eyes and bring down the risks of diseases like age-related macular degeneration that leads to blindness.

WebMD shares a similar opinion about both. We rely on WebMD as it’s a no-nonsense source of information you can trust.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Protect Eyes from UV Rays

According to WebMD, lutein and zeaxanthin keep our eyes safe from high-intensity light waves like ultraviolet rays. UV rays are not good for our eyes, and too much exposure can lead to vision problems.

So, lutein and zeaxanthin protect our eyes from UV rays and harmful light.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Improves Vision

WebMD confirms lutein and zeaxanthin to even improve vision, especially in low light conditions and glare. As a result, it can come to aid of people who cannot see well at night or in the dark.

We have ample studies to prove the effectiveness of lutein and zeaxanthin in improving vision. You can find the studies in the American Journal of EpidemiologyArchives of Biochemistry and BiophysicsNutrition & Metabolism, and more.

Just search with the keywords “lutein and zeaxanthin and vision.”

Before we move on, let’s summarize the ways lutein and zeaxanthin help our vision:

  • They prevent the development of new cataracts
  • Protects eyes from age-related macular degeneration
  • Safeguards eyes against high energy light waves
  • Improves vision in dim-lit surroundings and glare

How Does Lutein and Zeaxanthin Help Vision?

We have told you the diseases lutein and zeaxanthin can prevent. But how do the two antioxidants achieve such a task?

As noted earlier, lutein and zeaxanthin are two essential nutrients for the eyes. They are naturally present in different parts of our eyes and play a role in healthy vision.

We will take up a study called “The Photobiology of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Eye” published in the Journal of Ophthalmology to explain protection mechanisms.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Protects Against Eye Damage

The naturally present lutein and zeaxanthin protect our eyes in multiple ways. Both are antioxidants and protect the eye from damage caused by free radicals. In medical terms, lutein and zeaxanthin safeguard the ocular tissues in our eyes from lipid peroxide and singlet oxygen damage.

Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin prevent UV rays and harmful light from reaching the retina. So, our eyes stay in good health, and we are able to see clearly. If harmful light rays reach our retina, we will develop countless vision problems and diseases.

Apart from the above, the two antioxidants are also responsible for protecting our eyes from damaging blue light.

We Lose Lutein and Zeaxanthin as We Age

The natural lutein and zeaxanthin present in our eyes start to decrease as we grow old. The issue can become a problem after 40 when our eyes lose much of their protective antioxidants.

The low levels of antioxidants reduce their protective properties for the eyes. As lutein and zeaxanthin become low, our eyes attract diseases like cataracts. Our eyes also absorb more UV rays and end up damaging the retina and other parts.

It is necessary to maintain healthy levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes for good vision. But due to age, both decrease in the eye and invite a range of vision problems.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplementation for Natural Eye Protection

All studies, including the one we are using, found lutein and zeaxanthin beneficial for vision. Taking both as supplements can increase their amount in the eyes to healthy levels. As a result, our eyes get back their natural protectors. So, you can improve vision just by ensuring you have enough lutein and zeaxanthin in your eyes.

Additionally, lutein and zeaxanthin are highly effective in neutralizing lipid peroxide and singlet oxygen. As a result, supplementation can help you prevent eye damage naturally. It can mimic the protection offered by natural lutein and zeaxanthin and improve vision and eye health.

Make Sure You Get All Eye-Friendly Nutrients

Lutein and zeaxanthin are highly effective in protecting your eyes naturally. The best way to get them is from vegetables and fruits. You should go for supplementation only if you don’t get enough antioxidants from your food.

Coming back to the topic, lutein and zeaxanthin are not the only nutrients our eyes need. In fact, you need to consume more minerals and vitamins for optimum eye health. Even studies we mentioned use other nutrients with lutein and zeaxanthin for the best results.

What are the other eye-friendly nutrients?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for our eyes as it is for our immunity. Vitamin C lowers the risks of cataracts and slows the progress of age-related macular degeneration. It can even help against visual acuity loss.

Combining vitamin C with lutein and zeaxanthin provides your eyes with super protection.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant and protects the eye from the damage of free radicals. Having it with lutein and zeaxanthin helps you protect your eyes naturally.

Meso-Zeaxanthin

Meso-zeaxanthin is present in the retina of our eyes. Many studies use it along with lutein and zeaxanthin to protect the eyes from diseases and vision problems. Meso-zeaxanthin is produced by our eyes and not available in our diets.

Zinc

Zinc helps our eyes produce melanin to use a protective pigment. The deficiency of zinc can lead to vision problems in low light and even cloudy cataracts. You can get zinc from red meat and shellfish.

Essential Fatty Acids

Try to get enough omega 3 if you want your eyes to stay healthy. It is a fatty acid available in plenty in fatty fish like Salmon. Omega 3 helps in the development of vision in our early years and fights inflammation when we are older.

Omega 3 also plays a part in retina functions, tear production, and natural eye protection.

Eat a healthy diet with lots of different vegetables and fruits to keep your eyes healthy. You can also consider supplementation if your diet is not enough to meet your eye nutrient requirements.

Final Thoughts

Lutein and zeaxanthin are essential to keep your eyes healthy. They act as the natural protection of the eye and reduce the damage of free radicals. The two antioxidants also reduce risks of eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Our eyes lose lutein and zeaxanthin as we grow old and make room for vision problems. In such cases, you can try a supplement to get back your eye’s natural protection. However, be sure to consult your doctor for the best advice. You may not need lutein and zeaxanthin if you already have healthy levels of both.

FAQs

Can lutein improve eyesight?

Lutein can protect the eyes naturally and lower the risks of eye diseases. It can fight eye damage and neutralize harmful free radicals. We need enough lutein in our eyes for natural protection.

What is more important for eye health – lutein or zeaxanthin?

Studies show you get more benefits when you take lutein and zeaxanthin together. Both can combine to protect your eyes naturally and reduce the risks of many chronic eye diseases. Plus, a combination of both is best to minimize damage to eyes done by free radicals.

What does zeaxanthin do to your eyes?

Zeaxanthin is present naturally in our eyes. When you take it as a supplement, it is transported to the eyes and deposited in the retina, lens, and macula. There, zeaxanthin creates a protective pigment to keep our eyes safe from harmful light and free radicals. Plus, it can help us prevent diseases like cataracts.

What does lutein do to your eyes?

Lutein taken as a supplement can improve eye health and vision. It can also protect our eyes from damage caused by UV rays and free radicals. Plus, lutein can reduce the risks of diseases like age-related macular degeneration.

Do lutein and zeaxanthin have any side effects?

Lutein and zeaxanthin do not have any side effects. You can eat as many vegetables and fruits containing the two antioxidants. Naturally-made lutein and zeaxanthin supplements should also be safe for most, except pregnant women. Always consult your physician before taking any dietary supplement for most safety.