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Nutrient Shown to Protect Eyes Against Prolonged Computer Use

A group of Chinese researchers recently found that lutein, widely thought to have eye health benefits, may protect against the negative effects of prolonged computer use.

Their research is published in the March 2009 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

Lutein is a nutrient found in foods. It's most common in green, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale as well as egg yolks and animal fat.

For the study, researchers recruited 37 healthy subjects with long term light exposure from computer monitors. Participants were spilt into three groups and assigned to receive either 6 mg of lutein, 12 mg of lutein or a placebo for 12 weeks.

Visual markers like acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity were measured before, and at the completion of the intervention.

After analyzing the data, researchers found that while no significant benefit was observed for glare sensitivity, both lutein groups saw an improvement in contrast sensitivity.

The researchers also note that the 12 mg group experienced a mild improvement in visual acuity and blood levels of lutein were increased in both supplement groups, indicating that the nutrient is well absorbed.

In addition to lutein, previous studies have shown that both B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may play a role in supporting eye health.
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