Hi, I’m here to talk about vision supplements today. Now ConsumerLab has been testing all types of accessories since 1999, and all that information is available in the reports on our website, including the results of this study where we’ve tested and reviewed each of these products.
Now the importance of these products is that they are intended to help slow the progression of macular degeneration which can be a devastating disease: It’s leading cause of blindness in the United States, it affects over a quarter of adults over the age of 65. Now there can’t help treat or cure macular degeneration. Still, they will slow the progression, and that’s been demonstrated in studies — major studies — known as the AREDS studies — which used various amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin,
which are carotenoids found in the back of your eye, in the retina, specifically in the macula where they act as antioxidants, and they protect the eye against damage from sunlight. Other ingredients that have been included in these AREDS formulas are zinc and vitamin C, as well as some others,
but those are the key ingredients, and what’s been learned from these studies is that you don’t need quite as much zinc as they had used initially, which was about was over 80 milligrams per day, you only need around 21 milligrams of zinc. You need about 10 milligrams of lutein and about 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin — although there’s some more flexibility with that and with vitamin C about 500 milligrams per day. So we tested all these products first to see if they contain all the lutein and zeaxanthin that they claimed.
All but one did, and the results are in our report. We also looked at which ones provided what seemed to be the right amount of lutein, which, again is about 10 milligrams per day, and I should note you can get lutein and zeaxanthin from your diet. However, many people do not get enough. The average amount that people get is about 2 to 4 milligrams per day, and that’s from things such as kale and spinach, but you need about 10. So in our report, we talk about which of these we think is the — our top picks. We also mention that you can get lutein and zeaxanthin relatively inexpensively from the right products — about 10 to 15 cents per 10 milligrams of lutein.
Also be aware that lutein and zeaxanthin are best absorbed when you take them with a fatty meal because they are fat-soluble like a lot of other fat-soluble nutrients out there like vitamin D and A, etc., so take it with a meal that has fats in it. And a few other tips to keep in mind if you’re trying to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration is it turns out that eating an orange a week actually may be beneficial, and eating fish — fatty fish — at least once a week is also helpful. If you don’t eat fish, consider a fish oil supplement.
We do have a whole report on fish oil supplements, and just about every other primary type of supplement on ConsumerLab.com. So those are just a few essential tips to be aware of when you’re looking for a vision supplement. Also, be mindful that they can also reduce the probability of you having to get cataract surgery, so there is some benefit there,
and that’s been seen with vitamin C itself as well. If you have any questions, you can post them where this appears online, and if you enjoy these videos, subscribe so that you’re aware when the next one comes out; and these do come out regularly after we publish each report. So this is Dr Tod Cooperman with ConsumerLab.com. Thank you.