Supplement May Help Combat Negative Effects of Blue Light
Blue light is used widely in most LED devices such as tablets, laptops, phones, and TV’s. Blue light reaches further into the eyes than other colors, and can harm the macula. A recent study suggests that taking a lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin supplement may help counteract the harmful effects of long term blue light exposure.
Participants in the study included 48 healthy young adults with a blue light screen exposure time of at least six hours per day. Over the course of six months, they were given either 24 mg of a lutein, zeaxanthin, and mesozeaxanthin supplement or a placebo daily. The researchers evaluated all of the participants at baseline, three months, and six months for macular pigment optical density and markers of visual performance. They also measured sleep quality and physical indicators of excessive blue light screen time.
Participants in the supplement group showed improvements in macular pigment optical density, visual performance, indicators of excessive screen time, and sleep quality compared with the placebo. The supplement group also saw a 30% reduction in symptoms associated with high screen use, including fatigue, eye strain, headaches, and neck pain.
Researchers from the University of Georgia conducted the study. It was published on June 29, 2017, in the journal Foods.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids that can build macular pigment. 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 and zeaxanthin levels by consuming more green leafy vegetables, corn, and egg yolk.