Carotenoids reduce chances of AMD

The brightly colored carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and others accumulate in the macula of the eye and protect central-field-of-vision cells from bright light. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when these central-vision cells break down, and is the most common form of age-related blindness.

In this study, doctors measured the amount of carotenoids in the diets of 102,046 men and women over a 25-year follow-up period. At the start of the study, all were age 50 or older and were free from AMD, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Those who consumed the highest amount of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin were 40 percent less likely to have developed AMD compared to those who got the least. Those who consumed other carotenoids, including alpha- and beta-carotene, and beta- cryptoxanthin, were 25 to 35 percent less likely to have developed AMD compared to those who got the least of these carotenoids.

woman at computer

Omega-3s ease computer vision syndrome

As people spend more time in front of computer screens, mobile phones, tablets and TV, symptoms of dry eye are increasing so much that the condition has a name: computer vision syndrome. In this study, 478 people with dry eye symptoms who had been using computers more than three hours per day for at least a year took 180 mg of EPA plus 120 mg of DHA per day, or a placebo.

After three months, 15 percent of those in the placebo group were symptom free compared to 70 percent of those who took omega-3s. Doctors used the universal standard test for dry eyes—called the tear break-up time test—and found tears took eight times longer to deteriorate for the omega-3 group compared to placebo.

This is the first study to evaluate taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement to treat dry-eye computer vision syndrome.

Reference: JAMA Ophthalmology; October, 2015, Published Online
Natural Insights for Well Being January 2016

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