Light constantly bombards the eye and can lead to increased free radical production and oxidative stress. This stress can damage the delicate tissues of the eye and increase the risk of vision problems such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Certain compounds, known as carotenoids, can protect the eyes from the effects of light by strengthening the eye’s own defenses against oxidative stress.
MPOD is an acronym for macular pigment optical density. It is the “thickness” of the layer of carotenoids that covers the macula, the region of the eye responsible for the highest visual acuity and subject to the highest oxidative stress. That layer is comprised of only three carotenoids – lutein, RR-zeaxanthin and RS-zeaxanthin and collectively they make up the “macular pigment.”
Macular pigment acts like a pair of internal sunglasses to protect the macula by absorbing high-energy light and reducing free radical production. Density is important – thicker, denser macular pigment provides better protection. Thicker macular pigment offers a number of benefits, including reduced risk for AMD and cataracts, improved sensitivity to light, better visual function in glare, better contrast sensitivity during outdoor activities, and improved vision in low-light situations.
The body cannot make the lutein and zeaxanthin it needs to protect itself – the only way to get sufficient amounts of these essential nutrients is to consume them. While leafy green vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin, food sources may not provide enough of these nutrients to support visual health.
New Study Shows Supplementation Increases MPOD Fast
A new study shows that Lutemax 2020 - lutein with enhanced levels of zeaxanthin isomers (RR- and RS-zeaxanthin) in a balanced 5:1 ratio as found in the diet - can increase MPOD faster than what’s been published in previous studies. Researchers assigned 28 young, healthy subjects into one of several study groups: 6 mg, 10 mg or 20 mg of Lutemax 2020 or a placebo. Researchers measured each participant’s MPOD every two weeks. The scientists found that in as little as 8 weeks MPOD increased significantly over placebo in the test groups taking 10- or 20 mg of Lutemax 2020. Even at the 6 mg dose, MPOD increased significantly over placebo at 12 weeks and faster than what’s been published in previous studies. Considering that most people value eyesight as their most important sense, protecting it is a simple matter of providing the right nutrients. The macular carotenoids – lutein, RR-zeaxanthin and RS-zeaxanthin – are essential nutrients that protect and support visual health by fortifying MPOD, the eye’s natural defense against light and free radicals.
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Are macular carotenoids conditionally essential? What's the"depletion/repletion cycle"? Get the answers to these questions and more by watching this engaging podcast-style webinar which was featured on the Nutraingredients-USA Healthy Aging online conference.
Monday’s Great American Eclipse has magnified the important—and often times overlooked—topic of sunlight exposure on vision health. The cardinal rule for eclipse watching is, of course, do not look directly at the eclipse with naked eyes. The reason for this directive is called solar retinopathy. This is a condition that occurs when the sun’s intense light floods the retina and causes irreparable damage. However, an eclipse is not the only time during which the sun can damage the eye. Although the sun is most commonly associated with UVA and UVB radiation, within the spectrum of visible light emitted from the sun hides harmful high-energy blue light.