There are multiple supplements now on the market which are made up of some variation of Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-zeaxanthin, which make up the macular pigment. It seems every Doctors office is pushing their own favorite brand. We’ve now tried 2 different ones and may switch to a third. I suspect they are all comparable, so just find what works for you.
There currently is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) or Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for lutein or zeaxanthin, but some experts say you should ingest at least 6 milligrams (mg) of lutein per day for beneficial effects.
It remains unclear how much lutein and zeaxanthin is needed daily for adequate eye and vision protection. Also, it is unknown at this time whether supplements have the same effect as lutein and zeaxanthin obtained through food sources.
Advanced Ocular Health Formula – Lumega-Z – a vision specific medical food created to replenish and restore the macular protective pigment. Approx $60/month
MacuHealth with LMZ3 is a trademarked natural eye health supplement consisting of the three primary protective pigments found in the macula. Advertising says it’s “clinically proven to restore macular pigments to normal levels for enhanced vision and help in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration.” Not sure if they just mean if your eyes are already healthy? Certainly not if you already have AMD. But a good supplement. Approx $80/3mth supply.
But Here’s the Scoop:
The macula is an oval yellow area near the center of the retina of the human eye. The center of the macula is responsible for detailed vision and color vision in the eye and is responsible for central vision. The macula has an important and naturally occurring protective substance known as the macular pigment (MP). The MP is made up of several carotenoids (phytochemicals – found in plants) commonly found in certain fruits and vegetables that provide the red, orange and yellow colors of these foods. The MP is made of three known compounds: Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin.
What do Lutein and Zeaxanthin do?
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are dietary carotenoids (pigments) that filter damaging high energy blue wavelength light from the visible-light spectrum by as much as 90%. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are also antioxidants and therefore protect against the damage caused by harmful free radicals. Environmental sources of free radicals include cigarette smoke, air pollutants, radiation, certain drugs and environmental toxins.
Why is Meso-Zeaxanthin so important?
Meso-Zeaxanthin, the most potent antioxidant of the three carotenoids, is only found in the center portion of the macula where vision is sharpest. Meso-Zeaxanthin is obtained converting ingested Lutein inside the retina and is not found in the diet. Most Macular Degeneration patients have 30% less Meso-Zeaxanthin in their macula and show an inability to convert Lutein into Meso-Zeaxanthin, making a supplement necessary.