The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are both potent antioxidants that are used in the cells of the lens and retina of the eye. They are wonderful free radical fighters with the capacity to lower oxidation in the eye – which causes stress in the cells of the eye. They also are used both in the retina and lens of the eyes. They help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. In addition they are powerful filters that block damaging blue light from sunshine.
Zeaxanthin is found mostly in the macula of the eye, at the center of the retina, where it supports central vision, and lutein is mostly found at other locations in the retina where it supports peripheral vision.
Supplementation with only 6 mg lutein each day lowers the risk of developing AMD by 57 percent.
The Woman’s Health Study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in 2007 demonstrated that female subjects who received the highest levels of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E in their diets were 18 percent less likely to get cataracts.