With the total solar eclipse occurring this week, Americans coast to coast were reminded of the deleterious effects sunlight exposure can have on eye and visual health. But our magnificent sun is not the only source of light that damages eyes. Blue light-emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, as well as by the sun-can be equally harmful.
Every child learns to never look straight at the sun for fear of blindness. But the dangers of interacting with blue light from electronic devices is less commonly known. Blue light is the third shortest wavelength in the color spectrum, after the shorter violet, and shortest ultraviolet (UV) rays. All short wave light emits high levels of energy that can damage exposed parts of the body.
Blue light reaches deep into the eye. Studies suggest that over time, its cumulative effect can damage the retina and increase the risk of macular degeneration. Other research has shown that blue light inhibits the release of melatonin, leading to potential sleep problems if too many hours after sundown are spent staring into a glowing screen. Poor sleep is associated with its own set of problems, including impaired daytime performance and decreased immune system function.
Although we can never completely eliminate exposure to blue light, we may be able to protect ourselves from its negative effects on eye health. A 6-month trial published in June of this year reported that supplementation with the macular carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin had a positive impact on visual health and performance, sleep quality, eye strain and eye fatigue during prolonged exposure (6 hours per day) to blue light emitting digital screens.
The carotenoids in the study were provided as Lutemax® 2020, a key ingredient in Moss Nutrition’s comprehensive OculoSelect™ formula. Lutemax® 2020 consists of a patented blend of lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-isomers derived from marigold flowers. The dose used in the research was 24 mg per day, the same amount provided in a 2-capsule serving of OculoSelect™.
In addition to the clinically researched dose of Lutemax® 2020, OculoSelect™contains a powerful and effective blend of eye-protective antioxidant vitamins, minerals and amino acids, plus standardized extracts of bilberry and curcumin. It is available in two sizes, 60 and 120 vegetarian capsules.
By Diana Allen, MS, CNS – Product Development Manager
Moss Nutrition Digest #8 – 08/22/2017 – PDF Version
- Stringham JM, et al. Effects of macular carotenoid supplementation on visual performance, sleep quality, and adverse physical symptoms in those with high screen time exposure. Foods 2017 Jun 29;6(7). http://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/7/47