This super-antioxidant provides superior protection against oxidation of retinal tissues… is more powerful than zeaxanthin and lutein… helps maintain eye pressure levels… and supports your eyes’ energy levels and visual acuity.* Yet, it’s nearly impossible to get enough from what you eat.
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 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 I explain the function of each part:
- Cornea – the clear skin that covers the front of your eye. It’s as clear as glass and contains no blood vessels.
- Sclera – the tough skin that surrounds most of the outside of the eyeball, known as the ‘white’ of the eye.
- Iris – the colored part of your eye (blue, brown, green…) that controls the amount of light that enters your eye.
- Pupil – 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 – 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 – 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 – in the center of your retina. 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, in my opinion, 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 in 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
||Mg / serving
|| 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 / 1/2 cup
|| 0.3 / 1 large
|| 0.2 / 1 large
|| 0.2 / 1 large
The highest concentrations 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 2mg 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 to 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 and bilberry. They are important for eye health because they are soluble in the aqueous humor, 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 reduce intraocular pressure and help in maintaining collagen, which is the main component of the lens and is the connective tissue that supports your eye.
Bilberries, known in the United States as huckleberries, are the European relative to the blueberry and the cranberry. Bilberry has a long history of use in Europe.
The amazing bilberry has been shown to help protect and enhance vision.*
It was first discovered during World War II, when British Royal Air Force pilots noticed that eating bilberry jam before a night flight seemed to help improve their night vision – even on the darkest nights.*
Anthocyanins are part of the flavonoid family – and are used by photosynthetic plants, leaves and stems to help absorb blue-green and UV light.*
The anthocyanosides in bilberry help protect and stimulate rhodopsin1*, a purple pigment that helps the rods in your eyes adapt to light and dark…Hence, the night vision advantage.*
Bilberries provide 50 times the antioxidant power of vitamin E and ten times that of vitamin C – supporting strong and flexible capillary walls.* Bilberry also fights free radicals in your eyes.*
Lutein, zeaxanthin, and bilberry 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 improve visual acuity* – but only the 50 mg dosage yielded statistically significant results in one study.*
So when you’re choosing an eye health supplement, in my opinion, you want to be sure you’re getting the amazing black currant in addition to lutein, bilberry, and zeaxanthin.*
That’s why I included it in my new Eye Support product.*
Eye Support not only contains lutein, bilberry and zeaxanthin (10, 10 and 2 mg, respectively), but it has what I 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 I believe you absolutely must have for optimal eye health…*