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Lutein May Make Night Driving Easier

While previous studies have suggested that lutein may help improve vision, there has been little research into the effect of lutein on the vision of people who strain their eyes as a result of their work.

Recently, however, a study was released suggesting that lutein may have beneficial effects for a group that uses their eyes constantly during work – long distance truck drivers.

The study included 120 people who had spent the past 2 years driving an average of 10 hours daily. Over the course of one year, half of the group took a lutein supplement while half took a placebo.

No significant change in visual acuity was seen in either group. However, increased contrast and glare sensitivity was observed in the lutein group, especially in low but not quite dark lighting. This means that lutein supplementation may potentially aid the vision of people who drive at night or have to complete other tasks in low-lit areas.

The study was conducted by researchers at Shanghai Jiao-tong University in China. It was published online ahead of print on January 28, 2013 in the journal Nutrition.

Lutein is one of only two carotenoids that can build macular pigment. The other is zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin create the yellow pigmentation of the macula, which is the part of the eye that provides protection from damaging blue light. If the yellow macular pigment is too thin, blue light can penetrate the retina and cause long term damage.

You can increase your lutein levels by consuming more green vegetables, corn, and egg yolk.

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