Improve your vision and bone health with lutein and zeaxanthin
(NaturalHealth365) Lutein, a type of carotenoid found in the macula, is often prescribed to reduce intraocular pressure in individuals with pre-glaucoma and glaucoma. However, a recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that lutein is also helpful in decreasing age-related macular degeneration.
Additionally, when combined with another macular carotenoid called zeaxanthin, lutein can improve bone health, making it even more compelling to include these nutrients in your daily supplement routine.
Revolutionizing eye health: Uncover the power of lutein and zeaxanthin
In smokers, some “experts” suggest, the use of beta-carotene has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer. However, two NIH-supported studies demonstrate that the use of lutein and zeaxanthin, as shown in the age-related eye disease studies (AREDS2), can effectively replace beta-carotene, leading to a reduction in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is significant as AMD is the primary cause of blindness among older adults in the U.S.
Over a decade-long analysis of the AREDS2 formula, zeaxanthin, and lutein were found to be effective replacements for beta-carotene. This formula not only reduces the risk of lung cancer caused by beta-carotene but also slows the progression of AMD. However, it should be noted that the participants in the study were already smokers. The primary goal of AREDS2 was to create a formula that could be utilized by everyone, regardless of smoking habits.
The results of the study demonstrate that this innovative formula is superior in slowing the progression of AMD and is also safer. The reduction or elimination of AMD is critical for maintaining good health, as this retinal degenerative disease can ultimately lead to blindness. While there is no conventional cure for AMD currently, treating it has the potential to reduce the rate of vision loss.
The dangers of beta-carotene for smokers: Why lutein and zeaxanthin are a safer bet
The initial AREDS study, conducted in 1996, demonstrated that a dietary supplement containing 15 mg of beta-carotene, 80 mg of zinc, 2 mg of copper, and vitamins C and E could slow the progression of AMD, specifically from moderate to late stages. However, subsequent studies revealed that smokers who took beta-carotene had a significantly higher risk of lung cancer than non-smokers.
In the subsequent AREDS2 study, the beta-carotene was replaced with 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein for individuals who had ceased smoking or never smoked. The study found that the use of lutein and zeaxanthin did not increase the risk of lung cancer and had the potential to reduce the progression of AMD by up to one-quarter. The study concluded with participants using the AREDS2 formula with zeaxanthin and lutein instead of beta-carotene.
A more recent study involving over 4,000 patients over five years since the previous AREDS2 study showed a 20% decrease in the risk of progression to late-stage AMD compared to those who took beta-carotene. It is evident that lutein and zeaxanthin are vital components in the fight for better eye health.
More benefits: Lutein and zeaxanthin support bone health
Recent studies have shown that zeaxanthin and lutein not only promote eye health but also strengthen bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in older adults. In a study involving participants aged 50 and above, it was found that the intake of these carotenoids can lead to stronger bones and reduced risk of fractures. However, it’s worth noting that a relatively high level of zeaxanthin and lutein intake was required to achieve these results.
Nonetheless, the dual benefits of zeaxanthin and lutein make them particularly valuable for vulnerable senior citizens. By incorporating these carotenoids into their daily supplement intake, older adults can enhance their vision and bone health and improve their overall health and longevity.
To learn more about how to properly supplement your diet, we suggest you work with an integrative health coach – who understands your entire health history and personal goals.
Sources for this article include: