Where to Find Carotenoids in Nature
Guardion Health Sciences
Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. For example, if you’ve ever wondered why carrots are a bright orange color, it is because of carotenoids.
Carotenoids act as antioxidants and they have special protective properties for the eyes. They protect the eyes’ cells from free radicals produced by UV rays from sunlight, pollution, cigarette smoke, inflammation, stress and normal metabolism. Without carotenoids, free radicals can build up and wreak havoc on the eyes.
The Importance of Carotenoids to Ocular Health
The carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin form the macular pigment, a layer that protects the macula, where sharp, detailed vision is produced. A healthy, robust macular pigment is crucial to visual performance: specifically the ability to perceive colors, recognize faces and see clearly enough to read or drive.
The macular pigment works by reducing oxidative stress on the retina caused by blue light. The pigment filters out visible blue light for sharp vision, reduced contrast sensitivity and reduced glare.
A healthy macular pigment is believed to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, serious eye diseases that can cause irreversible vision loss.
Carotenoids Are Difficult to Find in Nature
We cannot synthesize carotenoids. The antioxidants must be consumed via diet or nutritional supplementation. Foods with the highest concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin include:
- Leafy greens like kale, spinach and swiss chard
- Green peas
- Summer squash
Experts used to believe that meso-zeaxanthin could not be found in foodstuffs. However, recently meso-zeaxanthin has been discovered in the skin of trout, sardines and salmon, as well as in eggs from Mexico.
The problem is that to consume enough of these carotenoids to build up and maintain a robust macular pigment, you would have to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. Our daily diets typically do not provide the amount of lutein, zeaxanthin or meso-zeaxanthin we need. To put it in perspective, the average Western diet contains fewer than 3 milligrams of macular pigments per day; however, we need 20 milligrams a day to protect our macular health.
Get the Carotenoids You Need for Macular and Ocular Health
Carotenoid eye supplements or similar products are an excellent way to get the carotenoids you need for visual performance and long-term ocular health.
Lumega-Z is the first and only FDA-approved medical food to provide lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin to replenish and restore the macular pigment. Medical foods are a special class of products that protect against a specific disease or condition.
Unlike carotenoid supplements that come in pill form, Lumega-Z comes in a liquid formula that is very easy to drink and digest. The body absorbs Lumega-Z quickly and easily, and the ingredients are delivered directly to the macula.
Lumega-Z is also formulated with a range of other ingredients like eye-friendly vitamins and minerals. It comes with Omega Boost, which offers omega-3 fatty acids with health benefits for the eyes and entire body. Some people use Lumega-Z and Omega Boost to replace their daily multivitamin and other supplements.
For more information about getting the carotenoids your eyes need with Lumega-Z, please contact Guardion Health Sciences today.