Vision Supplements – Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Omega 3’s & Other Natural Ingredients to Include
Before you buy vision supplements, you might want to learn about what they should contain. Although some visual problems are caused by genetics, prescription drugs or other health problems, more and more research indicates that inadequate nutritional intake is the biggest problem, particularly when it comes to age related eye disease.
The things that cause cellular aging in all of the cells of the body also have a detrimental affect on the eyes. Free radical damage, chronic inflammation and glycation negatively affect the health of the eyes, as they do all of the cells of the body.
When UV radiation from the sun enters the eye it triggers the production of free radical molecules. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. UV rays are known to play a role in the development of cataracts and they may be involved in age-related macular degeneration, as well. According to recent studies, blue light, which is visible, seems to be more of a problem for macular degeneration.
Antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are abundant in fruits and vegetables, absorb blue light. Most vision supplements contain little more than lutein and zeaxanthin, but there is so much more that we need.
Many people think of inflammation as the thing that causes pain in the joints. But, inflammatory molecules are present all over the body and contribute to a variety of diseases, including cancer.
When eaten, certain foods, particularly omega 6 fatty acids and saturated fats, are quickly converted to inflammatory molecules. Other foods, such as omega 3’s found in fatty fish and fish oils, are converted to anti-inflammatory compounds. In addition, many antioxidants and plant extracts have natural anti-inflammatory activity. They neutralize the inflammatory compounds.
The best vision supplements contain nutrients that have natural anti-inflammatory activity, because inflammation plays a role in age-related macular degeneration (particularly the more serious “wet” type), glaucoma and retinal detachments, which are more common once a person passes the age of 50. Key nutrients to look for include alpha lipoic acid, turmeric, glutathione and resveratrol.
You have probably heard of free radical damage and inflammation, but you might not have heard about glycation. It is even more dangerous to your health than free radicals. The reason that you don’t hear much about it is because there isn’t much that you can do about it.
Few vision supplements contain the only nutrient that is known to prevent and break up the plaques caused by glycation. That nutrient is L-carnosine. It’s expensive and it must be protected by an enteric coating or there is little or no benefit to supplementation. Turmeric, glutathione and resveratrol must also be protected with an enteric coating; else they quickly degrade into inactive compounds.
Other nutrients and extracts that are beneficial for eye health include bilberry extract, molybdenum, beta-carotene, glucosamine, n-acetyl cysteine, vitamin B2 and B12. A high quality omega 3 fish oil supplement is another good choice. Most vision supplements on the market contain lutein and zeaxanthin, but not much else. The best multi-nutritional supplements contain all of the nutrients mentioned in this article. Not only are they good for your eyes, they are good for your whole body.