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Although the benefits of sunglasses for UV rays are well-known, many individuals might not realize that sunlight is a major source of blue light. Blue light is a type of light that can potentially damage eyes in excess amounts. In addition to sunlight, blue light can come from LED lights and digital devices, such as phones, computers and tablets. 

Studies in animals suggest that too much blue light can cause damage in the eye.1-9 It is important to note that some blue light is needed for color perception and regulation of sleep patterns.

Healthy Habits for Our Eyes

Research indicates that lutein and zeaxanthin protect eyes by absorbing excess blue light and minimizing blue light exposure on photoreceptor cells. Our bodies cannot make lutein or zeaxanthin, so we must consume the two nutrients from food or supplements. FloraGLO® Lutein and OPTISHARP™ Natural Zeaxanthin are sources of lutein and zeaxanthin in the form found in vegetables. FloraGLO Lutein and OPTISHARP Natural Zeaxanthin work together by absorbing slightly different wavelengths of blue light.

Tips for Blue Light Breaks

  • Take a Break. Remember the “20/20/20” rule. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look 20 feet away from the computer for 20 seconds.
  • Eat Vegetables. Nutrition can contribute to positive eye health. Vegetables such as broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach and kale) and corn, plus eggs are sources of the eye nutrients lutein and and zeaxanthin.
  • Know the Role for Supplements. Most of us do not consume the recommended 10 mg of lutein and 2 milligrams zeaxanthin recommended from the largest eye health supplemental intervention study, known as the Age Related Eye Disease Study 2.10 One cup of raw spinach has 3.7 milligrams of lutein + zeaxanthin.11 On average, Americans eat only 1 to 2 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin daily12, so supplements can fill a needed gap.
  • Ask About the Source. Not all supplements are the same. FloraGLO Lutein and OPTISHARP Natural Zeaxanthin come from the same form of lutein and zeaxanthin found in vegetables.
  • Read the Label. Some labels for zeaxanthin state only “zeaxanthin isomers,” which do not reveal the type of zeaxanthin. OPTISHARP Natural Zeaxanthin is the type found in commonly consumed foods.

References: 

1. Algvere P, Marshall J, and Seregard S (2006). Age-related maculopathy and the impact of blue light hazard. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 84:4-15.

2. Behar-Cohen F, Martinsons C, Viénot F, Zissis G, Barlier-Salsi A, Cesarini J, Enouf O, Garcia M, Picaud S, and Attia D (2011). Light-emitting diodes (LED) for domestic lighting: any risks for the eye? Prog Retin Eye Res. 30: 239-257.

3. Tosini G, Ferguson I, and Tsubota K (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Mol Vis. 24: 22:61-2272.

4. Shen Y, Xie C, Gu Y, Li X, and Tong J (2016). Illumination from light-emitting diodes (LEDs) disrupts pathological cytokines expression and activates relevant signal pathways in primary human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Exp Eye Res. 145: 456-467.

5. Chen W, Wu C, Xu Z, Kuse Y, Hara H, and Duh E (2016). Nrf2 protects photoreceptor cells from photo-oxidative stress induced by blue light. Exp Eye Res. 154: 151-158.

6. Ooe E, Tsuruma K, Kuse Y, Kobayashi S, Shimazawa M, and Hara H (2017). The involvement of ATF4 and S-opsin in retinal photoreceptor cell damage induced by blue LED light. Mol Vis. 23: 52-59.

7. Jaadane I, Villalpando Rodriguez G, Boulenguez P, Chahory S, Carré S, Savoldelli M, Jonet L, Behar-Cohen F, Martinsons C, and Torriglia A (2017). Effects of white light-emitting diode (LED) exposure on retinal pigment epithelium in vivo. J Cell Mol Med. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13255.

8. Shang Y, Wang G, Sliney D, Yang C, and Lee L (2017). Light-emitting-diode induced retinal damage and its wavelength dependency in vivo. Int J Ophthalmol. 10: 191-202.

9. Krigel A, Berdugo M, Picard E, Levy-Boukris R, Jaadane I, Jonet L, Dernigoghossian M, Andrieu-Soler C, Torriglia A, and Behar-Cohen F (2016). Light-induced retinal damage using different light sources, protocols and rat strains reveals LED phototoxicity. Neuroscience. 339: 296-307.

10. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group (2013). JAMA. 309: 2005-2015.

11. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Release 28, released September 2015, slightly revised May 2016). https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/.

12. Johnson E, Maras J, Rasmussen H, and Tucker K (2010). Intake of lutein and zeaxanthin differ with age, sex, and ethnicity. J Am Diet Assoc. 110: 1357-1362.