Nutrients that Promotes Eye Health and Vision Function
As we age, our eyes become even more sensitive to damage. We now know that even sunlight can cause long term damage to the eyes. We also now know that specific nutrients support eye health, structure and function. There is significant clinical scientific studies that reveal these benefits.
As light strikes a retinal sensing cell, it transfers energy into the cell that can create potentially damaging “free radicals” from oxygen atoms, rhodopsin molecules, DHA, and numerous other cell substances. The retina normally has very high oxygen levels to support its high metabolic activity, and this factor together with its very high DHA content (DHA is unstable to free radicals) make it especially vulnerable to oxidative attack. The retina’s dense content of xanthophyll carotenoids provides an added dimension of defense against light, well beyond the more routine antioxidant defenses of other tissues.
Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are concentrated in the membranes of the retinal cells, where they help protect against singlet oxygen, superoxide radical, hydroxyl radical, nitrogen radicals, lipid peroxides, super-excited rhodopsin, and other oxidative substances generated from light energy.They work in synergy—their combined protective actions surpass those of any one by itself—and they work in concert with taurine located in the cells’ water matrices.
The diverse cell types in the eye all tend to contain relatively high levels of taurine, and higher taurine levels help ensure their structural integrity and functional performance. While the carotenoids block membrane free radical formation by light, taurine helps suppress excessive oxygen free radical generation elsewhere in the cells. Altogether, taurine and the carotenoids provide the eye with comprehensive protection against light or other oxidative agents. Clinical trials and other human studies amply validate the importance of DHA, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin for vision.
In this interview, Dr. Parris Kidd discusses in depth, how specific nutrients support eye health, structure and function.
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