Lutein Study Shows Benefits for Night Driving

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    Apr 24, 2013
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Lutein Study Shows Benefits for Night Driving Photo by Kevin Aggarwal

Scientists in China have discovered that regular lutein supplementation may improve eye health and night vision in a study participated by occupational drivers.1This study adds to a growing body of research that provides convincing evidence that lutein may help improve visual performance when ambient illumination is low. Nutraceutical business owners may want to consider expanding their product line to include well-researched eye health supplements.

What is night blindness?
Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the reduced ability or inability to see things in dark or dim places.The eyes take a longer time to adapt to darkness or do not adapt at all. Night blindness is related to the way the eye receives light. Normally, light travels through the cornea and lens and lands on the retina, found at the back of the eye. The retina consists of millions of photoreceptors that convert light rays into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and an image is formed. Photoreceptors are of two types: rods and cones. Rods see only black and white whereas cones see colors. Rods are needed to function in dim light; cones in bright light.

The macular is a yellow spot (about 5 millimeters in diameter) on the retina. A thin macular pigment allows harmful blue light or UV rays to penetrate and destroy cells. Both lutein and zeaxanthinare carotenoids found abundantly in the macular and are capable of filtering out blue lightand UV rays that aredetrimental for the photoreceptors in the retina. Lutein and zeaxanthin may help maintain the macular pigment and supplementation is considered to be a valid nutritional approach against night blindness and promoting eye health.

Lutein Supplementation May Benefit Night Driving
Although many studies show the benefits of lutein for eye health, the Chinese study,published in Nutrition,wanted to focus on lutein supplementation and its benefits for occupational drivers. Night blindness can be an occupational hazard for those whose occupation is to drive or for elderly people who suffer from macular degeneration and therefore have poor night vision. The study recruited 120 people who had been driving for about 10 hours a day for two years prior to the study. The participants were randomly chosen to receive either lutein supplement (20 mg) or a placebo daily for one year. Visual acuity, serum lutein concentrations, macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual performance were measured at regular intervals. Researchers observed significant increases in contrast and glare sensitivity in the group given lutein supplements, as well as slight improvement in visual acuity.
The increase in contrast and glare sensitivity is of particular significance in night vision or places of low illumination, suggesting that lutein supplementation may benefit driving at night and other spatial discrimination tasks carried out under reduced light.
Causes and Impact of Night Blindness
Most night blindness is caused by a deficiency in vitamin or a progressive degeneration of the retina which is age-related. Night blindness is likely to have caused several accidents but documentation to prove this is hard to find. Night blindness progresses gradually and many may not realize they suffer from it unless they undergo a vision test.

According to a survey conducted by the American Foundation for the Blind, when asked what would negatively impact their lives the most, most responders put losing vision at the top of the list along with paralysis.2

By the age of 50, most people will have problems reading fine print and seeing in darkness or in low light conditions. High blood pressure and diabetes can contribute to deteriorating eye health as well. By the age of 65, half the patients will have cataracts and by age 75, people develop AMD which is the leading cause of blindness among seniors.According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 10 million Americans have macular degeneration.3-6

Providing Your Customers with Nutritional Supplements for Eye Health
With the aging population growing rapidly, supplement business owners can help seniors the health of their eyes by selling supplements that contain high-quality ingredients known for promoting retinal health.Eye health supplements are generally manufactured as capsules, soft gels and powders.
Look for softgel manufacturers who have an excellent reputation for manufacturing high-quality supplements within a GMP-certified facility. Additional services such as in-house logo/label designs, packaging, order fulfillment and drop shipping services can help you save time and promote efficiency. Capsule manufacturing of lutein supplements is popular but it’s important to choose the right contract supplement manufacturer for producing a high-quality eye health supplement you would be proud to put your label on.
References:
Lutein supplementation improves visual performance in Chinese drivers: 1-year randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Nutrition - 28 January 2013 (10.1016/j.nut.2012.10.017), Yuan Yao, Qing-huaQiu, Xing-Wei Wu, Zheng-yuanCai, Shan Xu, Xiao-qing Liang. nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(12)00428-5/abstract
Eye Health Statistics at a Glance, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2009. aao.org/newsroom/press_kit/upload/Eye-Health-Statistics-June-2009.pdf
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2002). Your guide to lowering high blood pressure: Available at: snipurl.com/25nzb. Last accessed April 24, 2008.
McAlpine RR, Morris AD, Emslie-Smith A, James P, Evans JM. The annual incidence of diabetic complications in a population of patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Diabetic Medicine. 2005;22:348–352.
Research to Prevent Blindness fact sheet (2008). Cataract Fact Sheet. Available at: snipurl.com/blindness. Last accessed April 24, 2008.
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (2000). Don't lose sight of age-related macular degeneration. NIH Publication No. 02-3462.

Author's Profile

Nutricap Labs is a full service softgel manufacturers. We are into Capsule manufacturing and also offer label and packaging design services and order fulfillment services to our customers.


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