Zeaxanthin (2002, 2018) & UV / Blue Light Protection
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One difficulty in testing whether the carotenoids are effective in protecting against blue light has been that that mice, most commonly used in this sort of testing, do not have carotenoids in their retinas. Researchers were able to genetically create a mouse model that does require carotenoids for blue light protection and thus were able to establish that these nutrients do assist the eye in protecting against blue light and UV radiation.
Widjaja-Adhi, Mak, Ramkumar, S., and von Lintig, J. (2018). Protective role of carotenoids in the visual cycle. Faseb J., Jun 8:fj201800467R.
Another study also reports that the carotenoids such as zeaxanthin protect the eye through both their antioxidant capacity which prevents blue light and UV radiation (phototoxic) damage.
Madhavan, J., Chandrasekharan, S., Priya, M.K., Godavarthi, A. (2018). Modulatory Effect of Carotenoid Supplement Constituting Lutein and Zeaxanthin (10:1) on Anti-oxidant Enzymes and Macular Pigments Level in Rats. Pharmacogn Mag, Apr-Jun;14(54):268-274.
Researchers report that zeaxanthin is one of the important carotenoids that increase macular density, which is linked to protecting the macula from the damage caused by blue light and UV radiation. It accomplishes this by absorbing blue light that comes in through the lens. The macula in primates is colored yellow due to the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Krinksy, N.I., Landrum, J.T., Bone, R.A. (2003). Biologic mechanisms of the protective role of lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye. Annu Rev Nutr,> 23:171-201.