Research has identified a third carotenoid in the macula, Meso-Zeaxanthin. It’s found in the serum of humans, in the retina. Evidence suggests
Meso-Zeaxanthin is produced in the retina from Lutein via an isomerization process. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are transported from the serum to the retina in equal ratios and then transferred into the macula where Lutein is converted into Meso-Zeaxanthin. The macular carotenoids are Lutein, Zeaxanthin and after conversion, Meso-Zeaxanthin. They compromise the macular pigment which protects the retina from harmful substances. Together, they are vital components for eye health. Of the three macular carotenoids (Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin), Meso-Zeaxanthin is the most powerful antioxidant however, the blend of all three has been shown in studies to exhibit the greatest antioxidant potential of all and results in optimal light filtration at the macula. These three compounds are the only carotenoids capable of filtering the harmful blue light that can damage cells in the eye, the rods and the cones. Maintaining high levels of all three is essential to great eye health and reduces the risk of eye conditions such as, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The macular pigment protects the retina by absorbing blue light which protects the underlying layer of photoreceptor cells. If the concentration of the macular carotenoids is low, blue light has the potential to cause significant damage to the retina. Studies shows that by combining all three carotenoids, pigment is improved.
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