Lutein and zeaxanthin are members of the carotenoid family and are present in large amounts in leafy greens. These compounds are concentrated in the macula, the part of the retina needed for sharp central vision. Omega-3 fatty acids are present in the macula as well. Interestingly, for those of you wondering about carrots and eye health, no beta-carotene was found in the retina, debunking the myth that eating carrots is good for your eyesight.
In patients with macular degeneration, taking a supplement that contains lutein and zeaxanthin (AREDS-2 formula vitamins) reduces the risk of the macular degeneration progressing. There has not been a study that shows that omega-3 supplements prevent macular degeneration, although eating fish can.
In those patients without macular degeneration wanting to keep their eyes healthy, a diet rich in leafy vegetables and fish containing omega-3 fatty acids is recommended.
Source: The Relationship of Major American Dietary Patterns to Age-Related Macular Degeneration, American Journal of Ophthalmology, July 2014.
Michelle Akler, MD
Akler Eye Center
Sterling Heights & Dearborn
Akler Eye Center is one of the top laser eye & LASIK surgery centers in Detroit, Michigan.