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This Combination of Nutrients May Improve Mental Fatigue, Eye Strain

Is staring at your computer screen all day making you tired and hurting your eyes? Researchers from Nippon Suisan Kaisha in Japan have released a study showing that a specific combination of fish oil, bilberry extract and lutein may improve mental fatigue and asthenopia.

Asthenopia is a form of eye strain that manifests itself through symptoms such as fatigue, pain in or around the eyes, blurred vision, stiff shoulders, dry eye and headache.

The findings were published in the December 2011 issue of Biomedical Research.

Participants in the study included 20 adults, 11 of whom consumed a supplement daily for four weeks and 9 of whom consumed a placebo. The supplement consisted of 783 mg/d of DHA fish oil, 162 mg/d of EPA fish oil, 59 mg/d of bilberry extract and 17.5 mg/d of lutein.

Asthenopia symptoms were assessed using a questionnaire which was administered before and after the intervention. In order to test mental fatigue, the researchers administered a visual analog scale (VAS) test.

The researchers found improved reported symptoms of both asthenopia and mental fatigue after the four week intervention period and a two week washout period. Additionally, no side effects were observed.

Fish oil alone has been linked to a vast variety of health benefits, including but not limited to heart health, alleviating arthritis pain, improved brain functioning, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system. Bilberry extract may counteract the increased permeability of blood capillaries, while lutein has been associated with improved eye health in numerous studies.

All of these important nutrients can be obtained via dietary sources. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in dark colored fish, bilberry grows on shrubs and has a taste similar to a blueberry, and lutein is present in green vegetables.

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