Vision And Nutrition
As we age, our bodies have specific nutritional requirements to maintain healthy vision. Unfortunately, the typical diet does not include enough of the specific nutrients to keep our protective macular pigment at its best. The good news, however, is that making dietary changes to include eye-friendly nutrients in your diet can help preserve eye health for many years to come.
Guardion Health Sciences combines cutting-edge technology and highly specialized Medical Foods to help you maintain good eye health, particularly the health of the macular pigment.
Carotenoids Are Key to Eye Health
Food’s high in carotenoids protect the eyes in two ways. First, carotenoids form the macular pigment which lies directly in front of central vision, called the macula, and absorbs ultraviolet light before it strikes the retina. Second, carotenoids provide significant antioxidant activity which slows or stops free radical damage to the macula and retina. Carotenoids are pigments present in plants and algae, and are responsible for the vibrant red, orange, and green color in vegetables and fruits. There are three types of carotenoids that make up the macular pigment: lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. It is difficult in the western diet to obtain sufficient levels of the three macular carotenoids. Supplementation of these essential carotenoids is essential to maintain a healthy macular protective pigment.
The three carotenoids that make up the macular pigments protect your eyes in two ways. First, they absorb the damaging UV rays from the sun. Your eye doctor has probably told you to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. The macular pigments are like sunglasses inside the eye; they absorb the harmful rays before the UV rays can damage the central part of your vision.
Second, the carotenoids offer significant antioxidant protection for the central part of the eye and throughout the retina. The retina is the most active area of the body for metabolism. Because of all the metabolic activity, the retina produces significant amounts of metabolic waste. Powerful antioxidants are needed to clean up this waste and ensure that they do not collect in the back of the eye. It is impossible to restore and maintain the macular pigment from your diet without proper supplementation.
How Do I Build Up My Macular Pigment?
When the body does not get enough carotenoids, the macular pigments can become depleted. This depletion then leads to less protection for the eye from UV radiation and less antioxidant activity to protect the eye. To keep your macular pigment from becoming depleted, you must have sufficient macular carotenoids in your body, specifically lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. Getting enough of these ingredients has become difficult for three reasons.
First, our meals do not have the level of the carotenoids that they used to. It is impossible to eat and absorb enough carotenoids in our food sources to fully support the macular pigment. In fact, the average Western diet contains fewer than 3 mg of the macular pigments per day, yet 20 mg a day are needed to protect macular health.
Second, our bodies change as we age. Even if there are a lot of carotenoids in our food sources, older adults may not absorb enough to fully support the health of macular pigment. Third and most importantly, the most important carotenoid, meso-zeaxanthin, is not found commonly in nature. This very important carotenoid must be converted inside the eye from lutein. But, as we get older, we may lose the ability to complete this conversion process. What this means is that to fully support the health of the macular pigment and the overall retina, nutritional supplements, that contain all three carotenoids and a combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, are essential. Further, because the body may lose its ability to convert meso-zeaxanthin from lutein, direct supplementation of meso-zeaxanthin is the best option to ensure sufficient levels in the eye.
Lumega-Z is a Medical Food that contains all three macular pigments. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients in order to support retinal health. This formula is in a micronized liquid form which ensures high absorption of the carotenoids and other ingredients. Putting all these ingredients together in a liquid form makes it easy to build up your macular pigments and ensure retinal health. In fact, research shows that Lumega-Z has increased macular pigment density by up to 30% in patients, after only 3 to 6 months of treatment.