Lutein

Lutein, found in leafy greens, may counter cognitive aging
Date:
July 25, 2017
Source:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study. The study, which included 60 adults aged 25 to 45, found that middle-aged participants with higher levels of lutein — a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs — had neural responses that were more on par with younger individuals than with their peers.

Dietary and Lifestyle recommendations for Macular degeneration patients

Dietary and lifestyle recommendations for patients at risk of macular degeneration
Date:
June 23, 2017
Source:
Dove Medical Press
Summary:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of severe visual impairment in older populations and is characterized by progressive destruction of the retinal pigment epithelial cells and photoreceptors due to low-grade inflammation, ischemia and oxidative stress. Studies show evidence that carotenoids and antioxidants derived either from the diet or from supplements may significantly reduce the risk of visual loss in these patients.

Gene therapy technique

Surgeons in Oxford have used a gene therapy technique to improve the vision of six patients who would otherwise have gone blind.

The operation involved inserting a gene into the eye, a treatment that revived light-detecting cells.

The doctors involved believe that the treatment could in time be used to treat common forms of blindness.

Prof Robert MacLaren, the surgeon who led the research, said he was “absolutely delighted” at the outcome.

“We really couldn’t have asked for a better result,” he said.

Omega-3s No Help Against Age-Linked Eye Disease!

Adding omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients to standard antioxidant vitamins doesn’t give older people any added protection against a leading cause of blindness, a new study finds.

The study looked at age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which afflicts millions of older people in the United States, according to background information outlined by the researchers.

Telescope Implant Improves Vision In Macular Degeneration

Physicians at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center have become the first in Virginia to successfully implant a telescope in a patient’s eye to treat macular degeneration.

The telescope implant is designed to correct end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most advanced form of AMD and the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. Patients with end-stage AMD have a central blind spot. This vision loss makes it difficult or impossible to see faces, to read and to perform everyday activities such as watching television, preparing meals and self-care.

Possible Negative Side Effects Of VEGF Inhibition Therapy For Eye Disease

A new Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) article reveals that increasingly aggressive therapies that block VEGF could cause damage in treating eye diseases. Scientists discovered inhibiting anti-VEGF might have a harmful effect on the tissue responsible for producing the fluid that bathes the eye, medically termed the ciliary body. Several anti-VEGF-A therapies are currently being widely and successfully used for the treatment of eye diseases like wet macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema and retinopathy of prematurity.
“I would be concerned that more aggressive VEGF inhibition in the eye would have deleterious effects on the ciliary body.”

Elderly Aspirin Users More Likely To Develop Macular Degeneration

Regular aspirin use has been linked to a significantly increased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a recent study published inJAMA.

Macular degeneration is a condition which largely affects the elderly and results in a progressive loss of vision. It occurs when the retina becomes damaged, leading to a slow decline in retinal function. A recent study stated that age related macular degeneration is set to increase, with 20% of people above the age of 60 already presenting early signs of the condition.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin- Eye and Vision Benefits

Good nutrition is important to keep your eyes healthy and functioning their best throughout your lifetime. Two very important eye nutrients that may reduce your risk formacular degeneration and cataracts have names you may not be familiar with: lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin).

Lutein and zeaxanthin are compounds called xanthophylls (ZAN-thuh-fills), which are yellow pigments that occur naturally in many plants and vegetables. Xanthophylls belong to a class of organic compounds called carotenoids, which also includes orange and red plant pigments. Though lutein is considered a yellow pigment, in high concentrations it appears orange-red. In nature, lutein and zeaxanthin appear to absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight, especially from high-energy light rays called blue light.

In addition to being found in many green leafy plants and colorful fruits and vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin are found in high concentrations in themacula of the human eye, giving the macula its yellowish color. In fact, the macula also is called the “macula lutea” (from the Latin macula, meaning “spot,” and lutea, meaning “yellow”).

Recent research has discovered a third xanthophyll in the macula. Called meso-zeaxanthin, this carotenoid is not found in food sources and appears to be created in the retina from ingested lutein.

Lutein and zeaxanthin appear to have important antioxidant functions in the body. Along with other natural antioxidants, including vitamin Cbeta carotene and vitamin E, these xanthophylls guard the body from damaging effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can destroy cells and play a role in many diseases.

In addition to important eye and vision benefits, lutein may help protect against atherosclerosis (buildup of fatty deposits in arteries), the disease that leads to most heart attacks.

It is believed that lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin in the macula block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD).

A number of studies have found that lutein and zeaxanthin either help prevent AMD or may slow progression of the disease.