Eye Vitamins for Healthy Eyes
Leading-edge formulas meet modern demands.
Maintaining healthy vision is increasingly at the forefront of health goals for people of every age. Whether it's spending a lot of time in front of a digital screen or experiencing age-related eye health issues, Quantum Health now offers a complete line of eye vitamins designed to support eye health. These exclusive eye formulations are based on updated research and provide key ingredients in the right amounts.*
Our eye vitamins were formulated by one of the nation’s leading experts in eye health nutrition, Dr. James Stringham.
Our eye health supplements are also sold at:
The Importance of Eye Health
Americans have never been more interested in eye care vitamins, which is likely due to the increasing awareness of the fragility of vision, and the importance that it plays in living a happy and productive life. Given the nature of our service-driven economy, without healthy vision, it would be difficult for many people to continue in their careers, let alone enjoy playing sports, reading, watching tv, or doing most things that many people take for granted. In fact, in a 2016 study, respondents ranked loss of vision as the worst possible health issue, ahead of loss of memory, speech, hearing, or a limb.
A Healthy Macula is Key
The eye is a complex organ, and it requires all of its parts to work together seamlessly to support healthy vision. That said, possibly the most important part of the eye is the macula. The macula is the point on the retina that serves central vision, which means that it is the part of the retina that you use when you read, look at a watch to tell time, identify faces, and so on. If the macula is unhealthy and starts to fail, a person can lose their vision from the center, gradually spreading out from there. This debilitating condition is the leading form of blindness in the western world, and currently affects as many as 11 million people in the US. This number is expected to double by 2050.
Aging and Eye Health
Americans continue to live longer than at any point in human history. Today, approximately 40% of all Americans are 45 or older, and 13% (more than 40 million people) are 65 or older. While living longer is something to be celebrated, it can also lead to age-related health conditions, including eye health issues. Older people are more likely to suffer from a loss in healthy macular function, which makes supplementation with nutrients and vitamins for eyesight even more important. Additionally, because older people have more difficulty absorbing nutrients in their diets, many experts recommend that they take even higher doses of a vitamin for the eye than are required for younger people.
Another disadvantage that older people have concerning eye health, especially among those who have had a poor diet, is that they have spent many more years exposing their eyes to high-energy blue light.
The Blue Light Dilemma
High-energy blue light is everywhere, and is constantly affecting your eyes. Unlike other forms of light, the wavelength of high-energy blue light allows it to deeply penetrate the retina, and most especially the macula. High energy blue light is present in sunlight and some forms of interior lighting, and it is especially concentrated in the light from digital devices. Blue light makes images on digital devices appear more bright and crisp, which is why high energy blue light is so concentrated in the light from digital screens.
The average American adult spends more than 10 hours a day staring at digital devices, which means that every one of us is bombarding our eyes with, high energy blue light on a level that has never been experienced in human history. Eye doctors are concerned that unless something is done, we are building a future generation of people who will suffer significant eye health issues.
Thankfully, there are steps that anyone can take to reduce the risk. Blue blocking glasses have become prevalent among high tech workers who recognize the issue, and can filter out blue light before it ever enters the eye. But, beyond that, nature has developed its own solution, through ocular vitamins and nutrients, found in food and in eye pills, that can serve to protect the macula from high energy blue light.
The Role of Nutrition
Extensive studies like AREDS have been conducted on the impact of supplementing with food-based nutrients and optical vitamins for eye health. These studies have found that a diet rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and a small group of other nutrients can have a significant impact on reducing the onset of undesirable eye health outcomes. Unfortunately, most Americans aren’t consuming anything close to what is needed to achieve this effect. In fact, only 38% of Americans eat at least one serving of fruit each day, and only 22% of Americans eat at least one serving of vegetables each day. US dietary guidelines suggest eating between 5 and 13 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. What compounds this problem for older adults is that older people metabolize nutrients more poorly than younger people, which means that an older person should be getting even more of these crucial nutrients to adequately protect their eyes.
An inadequate diet doesn’t just expose a person to the risk of future eye health issues. A diet poor in green vegetables could also be contributing to suboptimal visual performance right now, at any age.
Key Ingredients Found in High-Quality Supplements for Vision
When choosing a supplement, look for ones from a brand that you trust that contain the right nutrients and vitamins for your eyes in the right doses. Here are the key ingredients you should look for:
Lutein and Zeaxanthin (5:1 ratio, with at least 20mg Lutein and 4mg Zeaxanthin)
Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to a family of organic pigments known as carotenoids. Carotenoids are made by plants and are especially enriched in green leafy vegetables. They can be stored in animal tissues and are found at relatively low levels in animal food products. Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow-orange pigments and are responsible for the yellow color of corn, marigolds, egg yolks, and animal fat (lutein and zeaxanthin are lipid-soluble and a significant fraction is transported to and deposited in adipose tissue). Lutein and zeaxanthin are also found in the human retina and lens, where they act as antioxidants, and (by virtue of the yellow-orange coloration) help absorb high-energy blue and ultraviolet light. Depending on dietary consumption, the concentration of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula can be astoundingly high, and represents the highest concentration of any nutrient that accumulates in any tissue in the human body. This specific accumulation of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macula is referred to as macular pigment. Given their dietary source, lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the eye and elsewhere in the body are extremely variable. Dietary information from NHANES (2003-2004) indicates that Americans consume only about 1 mg/day of total lutein and zeaxanthin on average, which is equivalent to roughly 3 leaves of spinach.
Lutein and zeaxanthin also appear to impact visual performance that is dependent on metabolic processes:
- Dark adaptation (Stringham et al. 2015; Patryas et al. 2014)
- Contrast sensitivity (Stringham et al. 2016; Yao et al. 2013; Loughman et al. 2012; Stringham et al. 2011)
- Temporal vision (Hammond & Wooten, 2005; Renzi and Hammond, 2010)
- Visibility through simulated blue haze (Fletcher et al. 2014)
- Chromatic contrast (Stringham et al. 2003; Wenzel et al. 2006)
- Visual performance in glare
- Visual discomfort (Stringham et al. 2003; Wenzel et al. 2006)
- Disability glare (Stringham et al. 2011; Hammond et al. 2013)
- Photostress recovery (Stringham and Hammond, 2008; Stringham et al. 2011; Hammond et al. 2013)
So, products containing Lutein and Zeaxanthin are not just for preserving eye health in the future, they are also supplements to improve vision in the near term, as the research suggests that these nutrients can help optimize visual processing speed, contrast sensitivity, and glare recovery and tolerance.
A person who didn’t take eye health supplements such as Digital Blue could get the same amount of Lutein and Zeaxanthin each day by eating
- 12 cups of broccoli, or
- 10 cups of green peas, or
- 6 1/2 cups of raw spinach, or
- 1 cup of raw kale
Zinc is an essential trace mineral, or "helper molecule." It plays a vital role in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc is highly concentrated in the eye, mostly in the retina and choroid (the vascular tissue layer under the retina).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 11 mg/day of zinc for men and 8 mg/day for women.
Zinc is classically included in multivitamins for eyes, with the basis rooted in the knowledge of vitamin A transport noted above.
- 13 oz of lobster meat, or
- 8 cups of kidney beans, or
- 4 ½ pounds of fat-free yogurt
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are made by marine algae and are enriched in fish oils; they are believed to be responsible for the health benefits associated with regularly eating fish. Two well-known omega-3 fatty acids are DHA and its precursor EPA. DHA is needed for the integrity of retinal cells, and has been shown to promote retinal development and repair in prior studies. DHA is found in rich supply in the neural tissues of the brain and retina, where it works together with other nutrients such as lutein and vitamin E to promote efficient function and protect the tissues in which it is embedded.
A person who didn’t take vitamins for healthy eyes such as Macula 30+ could get the same amount of DHA and EPA each day by eating
- 2 oz of cooked crab, or
- 4 eggs
Vitamin E / d-alpha-tocopherol
Vitamin E is one of the eye vitamins found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.
"Vitamin E" is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities. Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have varying levels of biological activity. Alpha- (or α-) tocopherol is the only form that is recognized to meet human requirements. Typically, the natural form of vitamin E is denoted on supplement labels as “d-alpha-tocopherol.”
Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. The body produces free radicals naturally when it converts food to energy, and it is also exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of free radicals formed when fat undergoes oxidation.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E has been shown to promote the healthful restoration of blood flow to the retina.
Vitamin E is known to work synergistically with Lutein and DHA to promote neural performance and health. This is especially true for neural areas that maintain high metabolism, such as the fovea of the retina and areas of the brain such as the frontal lobes and hippocampus.
A person who didn’t take eye health supplements such as Digital Blue could get the same amount of natural Vitamin E each day by eating
- 8 ½ avocados, or
- 26 cups of canned pumpkin, or
- 2 cups of sunflower seeds
Scientific evidence and the best doctors suggest vitamin C, another one of the vitamins for eyes, when taken with other essential nutrients, can slow the progression of visual acuity loss. Vitamin C also supports the health and care of the lens, and helps prevent the yellowing of the lens over time, which can interfere with healthy vision. Risk factors for this condition include smoking, diabetes, and steroid use, which deplete the eye's lens of vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps promote healthy capillaries, gums, teeth, cartilage and the absorption of iron. Almost all cells of the body depend on it, including those of the eye, where it is concentrated in all tissues. Vitamin C also supports the health of blood vessels in the eye. Our bodies do not create all of the vitamin C we need. This is why daily intake of vitamin C through diet, supplements for eyes, or fortified foods and beverages is important for maintaining good eye health.
A person who didn’t take Macula 30+ could get the same amount of Vitamin C by eating two oranges a day.
Curcumin is a bright yellow spice widely prevalent in the South Asian diet. It is extracted from the turmeric plant and has a long history of use to support a healthy inflammation response in the body. Curcumin is insoluble in water, but it can remain stable in acidic pH environments like the human stomach. The mechanisms of curcumin involve interaction with many molecular targets for inflammation. With regard to eye health, curcumin supported a healthy light-induced inflammation response in the retina in rats supplemented with 0.2% curcumin in their diet for two weeks. Further studies in human retinal cells showed that curcumin increased the protective effects against hydrogen-peroxide oxidative stress through the reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In addition, curcumin has the ability to modulate the expression of cellular regulatory proteins, leading to an inhibition of inflammation of the cells.
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