What is Macular Pigment and why is it so important?
There is an important and naturally occurring pigment at the back of the eye, known as macular pigment. This pigment is made up of 3 dietary compounds, known as lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin.
Macular pigment is yellow in colour and therefore absorbs damaging blue light.
What are the roles of Lutein and Zeaxanthin?
Lutein and zeaxanthin are dietary carotenoids that filter damaging high-energy blue wavelength light from the visible-light spectrum by as much as 90%. Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants and therefore protect against the damage caused by free radicals.
Why is Meso-Zeaxanthin so vital?
Meso-zeaxanthin is the 3rd component of the macular pigment and is only found at the centre where vision is sharpest. Meso-zeaxanthin is obtained by the conversion of lutein to meso-zeaxanthin in the macula. It is not found in a typical diet but is found in shrimps and certain fish types like halibut, salmon and sea bass.
Meso-zeaxanthin is being recognised as a more powerful neutralizer of free radicals than either lutein or zeaxanthin