Astaxanthin and Healthy Vision
Astaxanthin and Healthy Vision
I’ve been taking Ingenious Beauty for just over a month now. I started taking it initially purely for its collagen benefits and sure enough, one of the first improvements I’ve noticed is my nails. I’d always had brittle nails that broke easily, but now my fingernails are longer and stronger than they’ve ever been. So it got me wondering what other health benefits might it offer? In this article we’re going to look at one of the other ingredients in Ingenious Beauty, Astaxanthin, and look at its link with eye health in particular.
What happens to our eyes as we age?
As we age our vision can begin to decline and the risk of eye diseases such as Cataracts, Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Glaucoma. increase.
In addition to that, with people spending more and more time peering at their phones and in front of computers, eyestrain, irritation, dry eyes, and difficulty focusing on objects at different distances are becoming an increasing problem(1).
So how could we look after our eyes?
Many age-related eye health conditions can be, in part, caused as a result of ultraviolet (UV) exposure, which causes oxidative damage to the cornea, lens, and retina of the eye(2). UV rays are one of the main creators of free radicals, (Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm to your body if their levels become too high). Anti-oxidant function is important here, because antioxidants fight free radicals damage in your body. And this is where astaxanthin comes in.
What is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a red-orange carotenoid pigment derived from microalgae, fish, and crustaceans(3). Astaxanthin stands out among the other carotenoids because of its exceptional antioxidant capabilities. Studies have demonstrated that natural astaxanthin is 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C(4).
Recent scientific research shows that astaxanthin can be used as an intervention for numerous forms of degenerative disease including cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, cognitive decline, age-related immune dysfunction, and importantly for this article, for eye health(5).
Astaxanthin and healthy vision
The blood-brain barrier and blood-retinal barrier protect the brain and retina from potentially harmful substances (like free radicals) that are present in the blood.
So, in order to be of any use to the eye, antioxidant carotenoids also need to be able to cross over not only the blood-brain barrier but also the blood-retinal barrier to gain access into the eye.
Research scientist Dr Mark Tso established the presence of astaxanthin within the eye, and proved that it has the ability to cross not only the blood-brain barrier but also the blood-retinal barrier.
Studies have established that Astaxanthin is an important antioxidant in helping to defend against the damaging free radical effects associated with age-related macular degeneration and age-related cataracts in particular.
For example, in a 2008 study, 27 patients with non-advanced AMD were randomly divided into two age-similar groups:
15 patients were placed in the ‘supplement’ group and given a daily oral supplement containing vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin and 4mg of astaxanthin for 12 months.
The other 12 patients were not given any dietary supplementation during the same period.
Multifocal electroretinograms, to assess how well the participants’ retinal cells responded to light were taken before and after treatment.
At the start of the study, all the participants had significant reduced retinal function compared to healthy controls, whereas 6 and 12 months after the treatment, the electroretinogram readings for those in the supplement group had significantly improved(6).
Astaxanthin and Eye Fatigue.
Eyestrain or to give it its medical name, Asthenopia, is a common condition that can occur when your eyes become tired from intense use like staring at a computer screen for too long or straining to see in dim light for example.
In a study 26 individuals who work at computer terminals were separated into 2 groups. Group 1 were randomly selected to receive astaxanthin each day for one month. Group 2 did not receive any supplement. The individuals in Group 1 had a 54% reduction in complaints of eye fatigue, along with improvements in ‘accommodation’, which is your eyes’ ability to change optical power to focus on objects at different distances(7).
Along with Hyaluronic Acid and Marine Collagen Peptide, Ingenious Beauty contains 4mg of Astaxanthin per serving, which is sourced from natural freshwater microalgae.
Enjoyed this article? Why not read We need to talk about Collagen Here
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Astaxanthin and Healthy Vision; Disclaimer
This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis and does not constitute medical advice. If you are concerned about any change in your mental or physical health you should contact your health professional straight away.
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Astaxanthin and Healthy Vision; References
(1) NHS Eye Health
(2) Oxidative Damage
(7) Eye Fatigue