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All Eyes On Carotenoids

6th January 2015
We all know eating our veggies help keep our eyes in optimum condition with carrots and kale being particularly celebrated for their eye health benefits, but have you heard of carotenoids?

Carotenoids are the pigment within vegetables that help make carrots orange and kale the dark green it is. These carotenoids are a key attribute of maintaining healthy eyesight, believed to shield the retina from the damage caused by blue light exposure – the Sun.  Carotenoids supplements have long been used in the successful treatment of age-related macular-degeneration however have been the subject of recent clinical research which has revealed that oral supplements of the pigment could boost visual performance by up to 20% in normal, healthy eyes. Such improvements include reduced glare and improved contrast sensitivity which could prove very beneficial to those who use computers for long hours, or who drive for a living.

As cited on the BBC, John Nolan, a professor at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland who is running an ongoing study exploring vision enhancement with these supplements explains, “It’s not complicated,” says Nolan, who has published more than 60 papers on macular carotenoids. “We have a pigment in the eye. It’s yellow, we get it from nutrients, and you can change it, you can increase it. And we know that by increasing it, you filter more of the blue light, and you get better visual performance.”

To read more on carotenoids, click here for the full article on BBC Future.


Image source: Carotenoid supplements might dramatically improve night vision and reduce glare dazzle, as this simulation shows (Waterford Institute of Technology)

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