Health Foods For Eyes

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Health Foods For Eyes

The eyes are the human senses are very important / essential. Can be imagined if we had eye damage or blindness, we can not enjoy and feel how beautiful this universe. In fact we often forget to make eye care, but like other parts of the body, the eyes may be affected by disorders or health problems. Disorder-disorder can be caused by air is not clean or polluted, solar radiation, radiation from too long in front of computers, and other disturbances.

Studies conducted by the Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group (2004) estimates that by 2020 the number of people with eye disease and blindness in the world will reach 55 million people. This study also mentions that the eye disease and blindness will increase, especially for those who have aged over 65 years. A person aged 80 years or over who represents 8% of the total population, suffered blindness as much as 69%.

Health problems common to the eye is decreased function of vision, red eye symptoms without any decrease in vision function, and red eye with decreased visual function. Until now, eye disease that affects many are cataract, glaucoma, and infections.
Along with increased attention and knowledge of the influence of nutrition on health, especially the health of the eye causing rapid market growth of eye care products. Most of the products for eye health which is now marketed in the form of supplements. In addition to antioxidant compounds (vitamins A, C, and E) which had previously been known to improve eye health, other compounds such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, recently known as a compound that can improve eye health.
Lutein a group of yellow carotenoid compounds found in many green vegetables. Lutein in the macula and are believed to protect the eyes from oxidative damage by ultraviolet radiation (UV).

Macula was in the middle of the retina and directly adjacent to the lens of the eye. Macula is a small area containing millions of cells that help produce sharp eyesight to read or see objects clearly.
Other carotenoid compounds contained in the macula is is zeaxanthin, which are known to provide benefits for eye health.

Research conducted by Chitchumroonchokchai and colleagues in 2004 from Ohio State University, indicated that lutein and zeaxanthin may protect human lens cells from UV exposure, which is the major cause of cataract disease. In addition, they compared the antioxidant activity of lutein and zeaxanthin as vitamin E. The results showed that lutein and zeaxanthin showed 10 times higher activity than vitamin E in protecting the lens cells from damage caused by ultraviolet light.

In the same year was also conducted research by Neuringer and colleagues, showed the ability of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye health. While testing on animals, sponsored by DSM Nutritional Products Switzerland, showed that the supplementation or the addition of lutein and zeaxanthin increase the activity of antioxidants in the blood.
Another group of carotenoid compounds that actually has the ability to protect the macula from UV exposure is astaxanthin. Guerin et al. (2003) mentions that the ability of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds astaxanthin can give the effect of eye protection from UV rays.

Until now, the antioxidant activity of compounds lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin provide answers to the mechanism of the increase in eye health. Free radicals from UV light or air pollution, into the eye resulted in oxidation reactions of molecules susceptible to the lens of the eye.

These molecules are proteins and fats that make up the lens of the eye. The effect of this oxidation causes damage to proteins or fats in the lens of the eye. Along with increasing age and increasing pressure accumulation of free radicals, protein and fat which are damaged will be even greater in number. That is what makes vision blurred and eventually become blind.

Lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin arresting free radicals (radical scavenger activity) by binding with it before these radicals damage the eye lens protein or fat. Or in other words, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin may be cited as the protector of the lens against free radical attack.

Carotenoids are found in yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, green vegetables such as broccoli, and red fruits and yellow-orange, like tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon, and mango. So by consuming vegetables and fruits on a regular basis to meet the needs of lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin per day. In addition, other effects of consuming vegetables and fruits is to increase fiber intake of food is very good for health.


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