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Many of us know by now that blue light can be harmful for us, but it's almost impossible to get away from, since cell phones, laptops, and computer monitors are essential to our modern lives.
Perhaps you do certain things to try to avoid blue light, like having a special coating on your glasses, or not using screens late at night.
But when even the sun contains blue light, can we truly avoid it?
A new study, published in Nutrients, found that Lutemax 2020 — a supplement sourced from marigold flowers — protects our eyes from blue light damage.
It does this by reducing oxidative stress (OS) and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) in the macula.
(Note: The terms "OS" and "ERS" are a bit difficult to explain here, but suffice it to say that they are different types of cell damage.)
Radiation from blue light can damage the macula, which is the central section of the retina responsible for keeping our vision sharp.
This — along with lifestyle and genetic factors — may contribute to macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of visual impairment in the over-50 crowd.
But younger people should also pay attention to this, since the process of degeneration starts much earlier, particularly if they're staring at a screen every day.
Study & Results
Scientists have known for while that lutein and zeaxanthin (L & Z) — the natural compounds in Lutemax 2020 — collect in the macula, filter blue light and prevent OS.
They also know that an increased intake of L & Z reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
But until now they didn’t understand exactly why.
In this study, mice were given L & Z supplements, exposed to blue light, then examined to see if OS and ERS were reduced as a result of supplementation.
It turns out that the mice given L & Z supplements showed a slower response of the genes that cause ERS, thus protecting the retina from blue light.
This is the first time scientists have been able to show how blue light damages the retina via ERS.
Anyone who works on a computer all day must, by default, be exposed to high levels of blue light.
Even if we don't work online, if we're constantly looking at our devices and watching TV, we're exposing ourselves to more blue light than our eyes can handle.
To this end, it's important that we give our eyes screen breaks regularly throughout the day.
I recommend two simple solutions for preventing blue light and age-related retinal damage.
First, practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Second, take and L & Z supplement, as well as supplementing with other eye-friendly nutrients like vitamins A and E.
Eye Defense™ contains 20 mg of lutein, 4 mg of zeaxanthin, vitamins A and E plus Sea Buckthorn Oil.
Don't wait until you’re 50 to start doing something about the inevitable fact that your eyes will deteriorate later in life. Protect your eyes today, and your older "self" will thank you!
Are you struggling with the effects of too much screen use? What do you do to protect yourself from blue light? Share your thoughts below.