Study Shows Zeaxanthin Improves Vision in Elderly
In a recently published study in the Journal of Optometry (November 2011) conducted by eye nutrition pioneer Stuart Richer, PhD, OD at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago, results show scientific evidence that dietary Zeaxanthin improved vision in night driving and fine detail, among others.
The ZVF Study followed 60 elderly veterans with early AMD over a 12-month period that consumed 8 mg of dietary Zeaxanthin daily, showed improvement in the ability to drive at night, recognition of fine detail - an average improvement of 1.5 lines or 8.5 letters on an eye chart, and the disappearance of blind spots.†
This is particularly exciting for individuals with early AMD, the leading cause of vision loss for people over age 55. Common symptoms of early AMD include difficulty driving at night, reading in low light, blind spots, loss of vivid colours, all of which contribute to daily difficulty and potential loss of independence for seniors. Participants underwent extensive visual measurements including the Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) exam, while taking 8 mg of Zeaxanthin, 9 mg of Lutein, or a combination of both daily over a 12-month period. The study confirmed that dietary Zeaxanthin supplementation increased MPOD, improved vision, and provided benefits beyond traditional Lutein supplementation.††
Located in the back of the eye, the macula contains the protective pigments, Zeaxanthin and Lutein, which are found naturally at a 2.:1 ratio. Zeaxanthin specifically protects the cones, or photoreceptors responsible for central vision, colour perception, and fine detail. While Zeaxanthin and Lutein are found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables as well as dark green, leafy vegetables, Zeaxanthin is scarce in the average U.S. daily diet, making it difficult to maintain healthy macular pigment levels to protect and enhance vision.†
Dennis Gierhart, PhD and CEO of Zea Vision, a pioneer in Zeaxanthin research, commented, "Since the identification of Zeaxanthin and its role in eye health more than 20 years ago, I have seen it as my mission to bring the benefits of Zeaxanthin to a wider audience. I am thrilled with the findings that support the many benefits of Zeaxanthin supplementation."