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Carotenoids May Keep Aging Eyes Healthy

Two carotenoids, lutein and zeathanthin, may benefit eye health, especially among the mature population according to a recent study.

The study was published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Food Science.

Carotenoids are organic pigments found mainly in green leafy vegetables or in supplement form. Their main function is the absorption of light for photosynthesis.

This recent study builds on a body of science that links dietary carotenoids to eye health that goes back to 1782.

In 1782, a scientist found that the yellow pigments in the macula of the eye are related to improvements in vision. In 1866, a different scientist discovered that these pigments are obtained from the lutein and zeathanthin in our diet.

Additional studies have shown that carotenoids improve glare performance of our eyes by absorbing short wave (blue) light and improve our ability to see colored edges.

Research has also shown that lutein and zeaxanhin protect the lens and retina of our eyes and prevent age related eye diseases such as macular degeneration.

With the aging population, eye diseases are beginning to increase but eating more foods that promote eye health may help you avoid these problems.

Beyond carotenoids, there are also several foods sources that have been shown to promote good eye health including citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark leafy vegetables and cold water fish.

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