289 – Nutritional Support for Eye Health – My Interview with Anthony Thomas

Carotenoids For Macular Health* and Blue Light Protection*

Eye Support

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Anthony ThomasPeople are now spending many hours a day looking at various device screens. The average American spends over 10 hours a day looking at phones, tablets and computer screens. The constant and unrelenting exposure has an effect, not only on our eyes but can have numerous other consequences such as disrupted sleep, headaches and so on. A recent study has shown that supplementation with macular carotenoids improved sleep quality and improved vision.* The benefits include improved contrast sensitivity, decreased glare and improved photostress recovery.* Subjects has fewer headaches, with less eyestrain and eye fatigue.* This study was conducted on young healthy adults who had a high exposure to “screen time” more than 6 hours per day.

Blue Light
Blue light is a part of natural daylight. It is an important part of the visible light spectrum. It is really the artificial exposure to excessive blue light through modern devices that is a big part of the problem. So it’s not that blue light is bad. It is how much blue light are we getting and how does that affect each of us as individuals? For example, do you have any of the problems that were addressed in the studies? Do you have ongoing and excessive exposure to digital screens? If so then, the studies would be relevant to you and lead you to consider nutritional support. Commit to taking a quality supplement for 3 months and then judge for yourself. 

Carotenoids, also called tetraterpenoids, are organic pigments that are produced by plants and algae, as well as several bacteria and fungi. Carotenoids produce the vibrant colors found in many vegetables. The most well known carotenoid is arguably beta-carotene. Another notable carotenoid is lycopene found in tomatoes and watermelon.

In this interview with Anthony Thomas, we are discussing what are called “macular carotenoids”. Studies have shown that increasing the consumption of macular carotenoids significantly improved serum levels with the benefits as noted above. The macular carotenoids are lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin. We will also consider the benefits of astaxanthin. In this discussion we will consider the benefits of trademarked, branded, clinically studied nutrients. You must always look for quality ingredients in your supplement. We will consider Lutemax 2020 lutein, Omnixan RR-zeaxanthin, and AstaPure astaxanthin. You can learn more about these nutrients by going to their respective web pages.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are not produced by the body and their specialized locations and functions emphasize the need to consume all three macular carotenoids through diet or supplementation. Lutein and RR-zeaxanthin are found in dark green leafy vegetables and yellow to orange fruits and vegetables, while RS-zeaxanthin is found in fish such as salmon, sardine and trout.

Lutemax 2020® is a naturally-derived marigold extract providing all three macular carotenoids—lutein and enhanced levels of both zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin)—at the same 5:1 ratio as found in nature to optimally support eye health. 

OmniXan® zeaxanthin is one of the three principle carotenoids in the eye and supports eye health and visual function as a potent antioxidant and protector of lipid membranes against singlet oxygen and free radicals. RR-zeaxanthin works synergistically with the other macular carotenoids to absorb a broader spectrum of high-energy blue light to protect against photo-induced oxidative damage.

AstaPure® Astaxanthin Complex, a carotenoid antioxidant complex offering multiple health benefits.  Natural astaxanthin extract from Haematococcus pluvialis (H. Pluvialis) microalgae is great for supporting antioxidant levels and protecting against free radicals. n addition to its direct antioxidant capacity, astaxanthin also offers indirect antioxidant actions by up-regulating the activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase, thereby offering unprecedented benefits in support of antioxidant defence systems.

Macula Formula
Jarrow Macula Protective Factors™ is a synergistic combination of three key carotenoids to protect the eyes’ maculae against oxidative stress, blue light from all types of screens, LED lighting and the sun.* The macula is responsible for focus and color differentiation. This formula has 20 mg. lutein, 10 mg. of meso-zeaxanthin and 4 mg. of astaxanthin per 1 softgel serving using only trademarked branded ingredients.

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About Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas, Ph.D. earned his B.A. in Nutrition, Food Science, and Dietetics from California State University Northridge, his doctorate in Nutritional Biology from the University of California at Davis, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California at Los Angeles Larry Hillblom Islet Research Center.  His primary research interests (via both pre-clinical and clinical studies) have focused on the influence of dietary and lifestyle factors (i.e., physical activity, circadian disruption) on the pathogenesis of chronic cardiovascular/metabolic diseases including obesity, insulin resistance syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.  He has authored/co-authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and has served as a referee with relevant expertise in the fields of nutrition, obesity, and diabetes for multiple scientific journals.

Jarrow Formulas



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