Eye Carotenoids And Visual Performance: The Research

A growing number of studies support the importance of the macular pigment in maintaining or enhancing visual abilities that are important for sports performance.

Important recent findings include:

  • Research at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland demonstrated that a daily nutritional supplement containing lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin improved the visual performance of people with normal visual acuity but lower-than-normal levels of macular pigment in their eyes at the beginning of the study.
  • In the one-year study, 53 adult subjects took a daily supplement containing 10 mg lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, and 10 mg meso-zeaxanthin. Their visual performance outcomes were compared with those of 52 age-matched controls who took a placebo pill for the same period. At the end of the 12 months, the researchers found the participants who had taken the multi-carotenoid supplement showed significant improvement in contrast sensitivity (a more sensitive metric of visual function than eye chart visual acuity). This improvement correlated with increased levels of macular pigment measured in their eyes after the nutritional supplementation.
  • A study conducted at the University of Georgia found that young adults (ages 18-32) who took a daily nutritional supplement containing zeaxanthin alone or a supplement with both lutein and zeaxanthin demonstrated improved visual processing speed, compared with controls who took a placebo for the same study period (four months).
  • A study conducted at City University in London found adult subjects who took a daily supplement containing zeaxanthin, lutein or a combination of the two carotenoids for six months demonstrated improved contrast sensitivity in low-light conditions, compared with the visual performance of age-matched controls who took a placebo. Like the previous two studies, visual improvements correlated with higher levels of macular pigment measured in the group that had taken the supplement.

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

McKenna & Scott Pinelands

Tel: 021 531 1953