Van's Health Foods

In Historic Downtown Livermore since 1972

According to earlier studies, depression may have a link to cells damaged by oxidative stress. In this analysis, doctors compared antioxidant levels to signs of depression in 1,798 adults aged 20 to 85 and found, compared to those with lowest levels, people with the highest circulating levels of antioxidant carotenoids were 59 percent less likely to have depressive symptoms. There was also a direct link: as carotenoid levels increased, signs of depression decreased.

Carotenoids–the naturally occurring bright red, yellow, and orange pigments in fruits and vegetables like carrots–are powerful antioxidants. Doctors found three carotenoids in particular were most closely linked to better mood; beta-carotene in both men and women, and lutein and zeaxanthin in women only. Lutein and zeaxanthin also protect eyesight, as many earlier studies have confirmed. Discussing their findings, doctors said antioxidants may help reduce oxidative damage in the brain and hope new studies reveal more mood benefits of antioxidants.

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition; August, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the February 2013 newsletter

Van's Health on February - 28 - 2013

Omega-3’s help slow vision loss

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited disease of the retina of the eye that first reduces peripheral, and then central vision, and makes it difficult to see at night. While there is no cure, doctors often prescribe vitamin A, which the retina needs to survive. In this study, researchers measured omega-3’s in the diets of 357 adults with RP who had been taking 15,000 IU of vitamin A palmitate per day for an average of five years, under the care of a physician.

Comprared to those who consumed low levels of omega-3’s, those who got an average of at least 200 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day saw acuity for distance vision decline 40 percent more slowly annually, and central field-of-vision decline 50 percent more slowly. Doctors explained that omega-3’s help proteins in the eye transport vitamin A to the retina.

 

Zeaxanthin and lutein improve vision in AMD

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the loss of sight in the central field of vision, the most common form of blindness. In this study, 60 people, average age 75, with mild to moderate AMD, took 8 mg of zeaxanthin per day, alone or with 9 mg of lutein, or lutein alone. After one year, those taking zeaxanthin could read 1.5 more lines on the standard eye chart and had lost all blind spots. Those who took lutein could better detect subtle contrasts and recover from glare faster. Doctors concluded that zeaxanthin improves high-contrast vision, and lutein improves low-contrast vision and glare recovery in AMD.

Reference: Archives of Ophthamology; February, 2012, Electronic Prepublication

From the June 2012 newsletter

Van's Health on July - 5 - 2012
categories: Supplements, Vitamins
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