Nutrients Promote Eye Health in Aging, Says Panel

Several nutrients, including zinc, vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, help promote eye health in aging individuals, according to a statement from a roundtable of experts convened by the Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS)

The roundtable concluded that the displacement of “nutrient-dense foods by processed foods in the Western, or American, diet is disconcerting, as is the lack of awareness of key nutrients and other modifiable risk factors that impact eye health,” and they encouraged eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients.

They pointed out that many multivitamin supplements do not contain nutrients important for eye health, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. “Taking a supplement specifically designed for eye health that contains these key nutrients, in addition to a general nutritional supplement, may therefore be a better approach to filling dietary shortfalls,” they add.

Independent commentator Paul S. Bernstein, professor of ophthalmology at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, noted that this is a “nice summary of the importance of the key nutritional substances being tested in the AREDS2 [Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2] study.”

He added that there “is strong basic science support for the value of lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids in promoting eye health, and we all are eagerly awaiting the release of AREDS2 results approximately one year from now.”


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