August 27, 2010

The nutrient all computer users must take to protect their eyes

If you're like most Americans, you likely spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. I have never thought about the visual effects of light coming from computer screens, but now there's reason to do so. A new study out of China says computer light can damage your eyes. Fortunately, the study also found that a common nutrient can protect you from the damage.

In the study, researchers followed 37 healthy subjects, aged 22 to 30 years. All of the participants had regular exposure to computer screens. The researchers randomized the participants into one of three groups. For 12 weeks, they gave group one 6 mg of lutein daily. They gave group two 12 mg daily. And group three took a placebo.

At the end of the study, group two had the best visual acuity. Additionally, those taking lutein had better contrast sensitivity. (This simply means they can distinguish objects clearly from the background. They don't blur together.)

This is the first report I've seen that suggests that a computer display light might have a negative effect on vision. I can't make any conclusion at this point, as it's hard to determine from this study if the computer screen did the damage — or if the lutein improved their eyesight. I know from patients taking Advanced Vision Formula, which contains a whopping 15 mg of lutein, that this nutrient does improve eyesight. Regardless of whether the computer screen causes damage or lutein improves eyesight (or some combination of the two), this study indicates that anyone who uses a computer regularly needs to take lutein.

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If you're eating a colorful vegetable-based diet, there's likely little cause for concern. You'll get plenty of lutein naturally.

Ref: British J of Nutr, 2009 Feb 19

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