One of your most precious senses is your eyesight. It's easy to take the gift of sight for granted, until it starts to fail.
Studies show that eye health ranks #4 among consumer health interests in the U.S. – suggesting that millions have friends or relatives who worry about getting the nutrients they need for maintaining healthy vision.
But now you can say goodbye to your worries about nutrition for eye health…
If you're a Baby Boomer over 55, in my opinion, there are many possible actions you can take to support your eye health. Studies show people over age 60 may need even more support. You may also need additional vision support if you share any of these characteristics:
- You smoke
- You're obese
- You're Caucasian
- You're female (need more support than men)
Just Because You're Young, Doesn't Mean You Should Ignore Your Vision…
Healthy vision may seem like a distant concern when you’re young.
But if you spend a lot of time staring at a computer, you may already need additional support for your eye health*. The increased use of computers and video display terminals (VDTs) at home and work has led to an increased need for vision-supporting supplements.
Unfortunately, most doctors would likely say your options are limited.
But, in my opinion, they would be wrong.
As you’re already likely aware, it is possible to help prevent free radical damage by careful attention to what you eat and prudent supplementation. More on that in a moment.
How the Parts of Your Eye Work Together So Well…
Your eye is an incredibly complex and miraculous organ, allowing you to see sharply and engage fully in life.
To gain a bit more of an appreciation of the complexity (without burying you in details) refer to the image on the right, as we review the function of each part:
- Cornea – is the clear skin that covers the front of your eye. It’s as clear as glass and contains no blood vessels.
- Sclera – is the tough skin that surrounds most of the outside of the eyeball, known as the “white” of the eye.
- Iris – is the colored part of your eye (blue, brown, green…) that controls the amount of light that enters your eye.
- Pupil – is the hole in the iris that lets light into your eye. It becomes tiny in bright sunlight and larger in darkness.
- Lens – focuses light onto the retina. It changes shape as needed to ensure the “picture” on the retina is as clear as possible.
- Retina – is your eyes’ very own upside down movie screen… Your retina has cells called rods and cones (named for their shape). Rods see black and white; cones see color. Each eye has about 120 million rods and 7 million cones! Together, they’re responsible for changing the received light into impulses. Those impulses are then carried to the brain along your optic nerve.
- Blind spot – is a tiny spot on your retina which isn’t sensitive to light because it has no rods or cones. This is the spot where the optic nerve joins the retina.
- Optic nerve – transmits the electrical messages from the retina to your brain.
- Macula – is in the center of your retina. It produces your central vision which enables you to read, drive and perform other activities requiring fine, sharp, straight-ahead vision.
After light enters your pupil, it hits the lens – which focuses those light rays on the back of your eyeball – the retina.
The retina is in the very back of your eye, past the large vitreous body. Though smaller than a dime, it holds millions of light-sensitive cells. It takes the light it receives and converts it to nerve signals so your brain can understand what your eye is seeing.
Unfortunately, free radical damage from age and environmental factors can keep your eyes from functioning optimally.
5 Natural Strategies That May Help Protect Your Healthy Vision…
Despite what your eye doctor may say, there are natural, common-sense strategies you can employ to help protect your healthy vision.
- Quit smoking, if you currently do. Smoking ramps up free radical production throughout your body, and puts you at risk for less-than-optimal health in many ways. If you want healthy vision for your whole life, you cannot afford to risk less-than-optimal eye health with cigarettes.
- Care for your cardiovascular system. High blood pressure can cause damage to the miniscule blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow.
- Normalize your blood sugar. Excessive sugar in your blood can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. And, it can damage the blood vessels in your retina, also obstructing blood flow.
- Eat plenty of fresh, dark green leafy vegetables, especially kale. Your mother was right – eat your vegetables. Studies have shown that a diet rich in dark leafy greens helps support eye health. And that those with the highest consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, had increased vision health.
- Consume omega-3 rich foods such as fresh-caught salmon – or supplement with krill oil. A study published in the August 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids was protective of your healthy vision*.
However – especially if you’re a Baby Boomer or older – you may want to hedge your bets on wise supplementation to help protect your eyes’ healthy function.*
If you’re younger, prudent supplementation while also addressing the five natural strategies listed above can offer your eyes important support.
There are some incredible newcomers on the scene of protecting and supporting your eye health, specifically.* But before that, you need to know…
Antioxidants Are Key to Supporting Your Eye Health
The job of an antioxidant compound is to neutralize dangerous free radicals in your body. Free radicals that are formed in the fat or lipid sections of the body are handled by the fat-soluble antioxidants. Those that are formed in the watery or aqueous sections of your body are handled by the water-soluble antioxidants.
Both water- and fat-soluble antioxidants should be taken together to protect yourself from free radicals generated from fat or aqueous portions of your body.
Fat-Soluble Antioxidants Help Your Vision
Fat-soluble antioxidants find their way into the fat or lipid-based tissues in your body. Unspent amounts of these antioxidants are stored in your body's fat. High amounts stored in your body can become toxic and therefore some fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, should not be taken at extremely high dosages.
Fat-soluble antioxidants are important to protect the photoreceptor membranes (stacks of membranous disks that are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA's)) from lipid peroxidation.*
Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in the macula lutea and believed to serve two primary roles: to absorb excess photon energy, and to quench free-radicals before they damage the lipid membranes.
Lutein (from the Latin "luteus," meaning "yellow") is a naturally-occurring carotenoid. Lutein is used by your body as an antioxidant, and by your eyes for blue light absorption.*
Lutein is a powerful antioxidant, able to fight free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.*
Lutein is found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale… also in carrots, squash, and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables.
Lutein Content of Foods
||26.5/ 1 cup
||23.7/ 1 cup
||20.4/ 1 cup
||14.6/ 1 cup
|Turnip greens (cooked)
||12.2/ 1 cup
|Green peas (cooked)
||4.1/ 1 cup
||3.7/ 1 cup
||1.5/ 1 cup
||1.3/ 1 cup
|Romaine lettuce (raw)
||1.1/ 1 cup
|Green beans (cooked)
||0.9/ 1 cup
||0.8/ 1 cup
||0.3/ 1 cup
||0.2/ 1 cup
||0.2/ 1 cup
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. 2005. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20 (2007), Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=12354500
The highest concentration of lutein in your eye is in your macula – the tiny central part of your retina responsible for straight-ahead and detailed vision. More specifically, lutein is found in the macular pigment – known for helping to protect your central vision.*
As a side note, lutein helps support your cardiovascular system and your skin as well.*
Indeed, lutein may even be more powerful than vitamin E for supporting eye health* – suggested by this study…
In a double-blind study on carotenoids, 17 patients taking 15 mg of lutein three times a week for two years were compared to patients taking 100 mg of vitamin E or a placebo. The lutein group had statistically significant improvements in visual acuity and glare sensitivity, compared to the vitamin E and control groups.
Support Your Retina with Its Strongest Carotenoid…
Zeaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant carotenoid found in your retina.
The average American only gets 0.2 to 2 mg of zeaxanthin per day, depending on the amount and mix of vegetables and fruits in their diet. Studies show that your eyes need more zeaxanthin on a daily basis. Unfortunately, zeaxanthin can’t be made by your body, so it must be supplemented as part of your diet.
Once transported to your eye, zeaxanthin relocates into several tissues, including your lens and your macula, to support their daily tasks.*
Lutein and zeaxanthin both readily pass into your eyes. Once in the oxygen-rich environment of your retina, they reduce the numbers of those nasty free radicals. So it makes perfect sense that studies show a higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is related to greater visual health.*
Though there’s no recommended daily intake for lutein and zeaxanthin, recent studies show a health benefit for lutein supplementation at 10 mg/day and for zeaxanthin supplementation at 2 mg/day. Studies show that dietary intake of approximately 6-20 mg lutein daily appears to be necessary for adequate eye health support.*
There's Only One Small Problem…
It may seem like helping to protect your eyes is as simple as eating your leafy greens and a few other foods. But studies show that your body may struggle to break down the plant cell walls housing these nutrients.
So what can you do?
Cooking your leafy green lutein- and zeaxanthin-containing foods on low heat can actually increase their bioavailability by breaking the cell walls and the carotenoid-protein complexes.
Studies also suggest that you absorb lutein much better from a purified lutein supplement, which may contain nearly twice the levels you get from spinach or other vegetable sources.
Water-Soluble Antioxidants Help Protect and Enhance Vision
Water-soluble antioxidants are those that are soluble in your cell’s cytoplasm and blood. Your body cannot store water-soluble antioxidants, unspent or excess of these are simply excreted from the body through the urine so a person cannot theoretically be overdosed. Most dietary antioxidant compounds are water-soluble.
The majority of dietary antioxidant compounds are water-soluble, such as vitamin C, catechins from green tea, and anthocyanins from red, blue, and purple plants.
The most noted water-soluble antioxidants for the eye are the anthocyanins found in black currant. They are important for eye health because they are soluble in the aqueous humor, the thick watery substance filling the space between the lens and the cornea. The aqueous humor maintains the intraocular pressure, provides nutrition for other ocular tissues and serves to transport antioxidants.
Anthocyanins can also help maintain normal intraocular pressure and help in maintaining collagen*, which is the main component of the lens and is the connective tissue that supports your eye.
Lutein and zeaxanthin provide fabulous support for your eyes.*
But it gets even better…
The Two Eye Support Newcomers…
Two new ingredients – black currant and astaxanthin – recently made their way to the cutting edge of the eye health world.
And they’re far more powerful than lutein, zeaxanthin, or bilberry.
Scientists discovered that black currant contains anthocyanins, supporting eye energy.* And astaxanthin is also a strong antioxidant.*
The challenging thing is… these incredible nutrients are hard to find in typical eye health products. And they must be of superb quality for you to reap the benefits.
Introducing the ‘New’ Bilberry…
As important as bilberry has been in the eye health arena for years, it’s now playing second fiddle to its new sidekick – black currant.*
Black currant contains some of the highest levels of anthocyanins found in nature -- 190-270 mg per 100 g -- literally blowing bilberry out of the water. Here’s why it rises above the rest:
- Black currant anthocyanins are absorbed in your plasma as well as in eye tissue.
- 50 mg of black currant powder (9.3% anthocyanins) may help lead to a significant improvement in Dark Adaptation Threshold, a measure of visual fatigue.*
- The same black currant powder at 50 mg, or 200 mL of black currant juice, may also help significantly improve this measure.*
- Black currant extract appears to be effective at three different dosage levels of anthocyanins in helping to support eye health* – but only the 50 mg dosage yielded statistically significant results in one study.*
So when you’re choosing an eye health supplement, we feel it’s important to include the amazing black currant in addition to lutein and zeaxanthin.
That’s why it’s included in our new Eye Support product.
Eye Support not only contains lutein and zeaxanthin (10 and 2 mg, respectively), but it has what we consider to be the optimal 50 mg of black currant that the above-mentioned study found led to optimal eye health support.*
The concentrated ingredients in Eye Support don’t stop with these… There’s another super critical ingredient that we believe you absolutely must have for optimal eye health…
The Antioxidant That Fights Free Radicals 500 Times Better than Vitamin E* –
And Is Nearly Impossible to Get from Your Diet…
The second cutting edge ingredient in our Eye Support product is astaxanthin, the carotenoid that gives salmon, lobster, krill, crab and other shell fish their pink and reddish colors.
Astaxanthin has 500 times the antioxidant capacity of vitamin E. That means that when compared to an equal amount of vitamin E, astaxanthin is 500 times more effective.
Astaxanthin’s structure closely resembles lutein and zeaxanthin. But its unique configuration gives it enhanced antioxidant activity for free radical scavenging.*
Its unique structure lets it pass through your cell membranes so it helps protect both the lipid and aqueous outer layers of your cells – at the same time controlling potential damage inflicted on your cells by loose free radicals.*
Here’s how astaxanthin benefits your eyes:
- Provides superior protection against oxidation of your retinal tissues caused by light*
- Is a much more powerful antioxidant than canthaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein
- Is 14 times stronger than alpha-tocopherol, 54 times stronger than beta-carotene, and 65 times stronger than vitamin C in scavenging oxygen free radicals
- Helps maintain appropriate eye pressure levels that are already within the normal range*
- Supports your eyes’ energy levels and overall eye health*
The bottom line here is this… Naturally-occurring astaxanthin in supplement form can offer powerful antioxidant protection for your eyes.* And this is important, since if you’re like most people, your diet likely lacks sufficient amounts of astaxanthin.
No Worries About Pro-Oxidant Activity
You should know that when you’re dealing with antioxidants, certain carotenoids can act as pro-oxidants, which actually cause oxidation in your body when high concentrations are present in your tissues.
Vitamin C, for example, appears to have a mostly antioxidant action in your body but beta-carotene, lycopene and zeaxanthin can be pro-oxidant under certain conditions.
However, astaxanthin never exhibited pro-oxidant activity in studies, so there appears to be no pro-oxidant risk in taking higher doses of this incredible nutrient.
Why Our Astaxanthin Is High-Quality
As with all our supplements, we continually search for the best quality products available. Of all the sources of astaxanthin available, here’s why we believe our source for Eye Support is high-quality:
- It comes from green algae, one of the richest and most bioavailable natural sources of astaxanthin.
- It’s made using a special CO2 extraction method that doesn’t use toxic solvents. This controlled process yields a pure, top quality product and a whopping 10% astaxanthin, compared to a typical 5-7% yield for competitors.
- It’s stable, with a long shelf life.
You're Unlikely to Find This Product in Health Food Stores…
With the combination of lutein and zeaxanthin – along with black currant and astaxanthin – Eye Support includes what we consider to be the best and most important ingredients known for eye health today.*
And we formulated them in the dosages tested in trial on carotenoid antioxidant supplementation and its impact on retinal function.*
We based our formula for Eye Support on the amounts used in this important study, so you’d get a formula designed for optimal eye support.*
Eye Support includes 50 mg of anthocyanins produced from high-quality black currant – the same statistically significant dosage used in a key study on black currant and visual fatigue -- to help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.*
Plus, all these nutrients offer the added benefit of powerful fat- and water-soluble antioxidants to scour free radicals not just in your eyes, but all over your body.*
5 Reasons Why Eye Support Is Your Best Option...
- It contains the optimal doses of lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Its black currant is a high-quality source of anthocyanins.
- The astaxanthin is grown in a pure and toxin-free environment and extracted without solvents.
- It contains no synthetic ingredients.
- It provides excellent free radical scavengers.*
The Time to Take Action Is Today…
We cannot stress enough the importance of getting these two new ingredients which are available in our top quality Eye Support.
You depend on your eyes for so much.
So isn’t it time to help protect your only pair of eyes today?
Our painstaking research takes all the guesswork out of finding a supplement that supports your eyes now and into the future.*
When it comes to your eyes, you absolutely want to do everything you can to help support your health.
Isn’t your vision worth it?
Don’t delay another day -- get your Eye Support for healthy vision today.*