Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Blackcurrant Extract reduce visual fatigue

August 12, 2009

A supplement containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Blackcurrant Extract may reverse signs of visual fatigue, according to a new study from Japan. Visual fatigue, caused by many factors including staring at computer monitors for long hours, is eased by a daily supplement containing Blackcurrant Fruit Extract (200 mg), Lutein (5 mg), and Zeaxanthin (1 mg), according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial. The findings add to the ever growing body of science supporting the eye health benefits of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and berries.

Lutein is a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables and egg yolk. It has a ten-plus year history in the dietary supplement market as a nutrient to reduce the risk of age related macular degeneration (ADM). It is often used in combination with Zeaxanthin.

The researchers from Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan recruited 22 people to participate. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive either the Lutein supplement, or placebo for two weeks, followed by two weeks of a washout, and a further two weeks with the opposite agent. After completing a two hour visual proof reading task, the researchers measured signs of visual fatigue, including so-called eye fixation related potentials (EFRP). “EFRP is thought to reflect the total functioning of the visual system, consisting of the retina, the muscle of the pupil, the muscles involved in eye movements, and central nervous system functioning,” explained the researchers. “In the present study, [a supplement containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and blackcurrant extract]may have had beneficial effects on visual functioning that served to counteract or prevent fatigue induced by the proof reading task,” they added. “Overall, our results suggest that a combination of Lutein, Zeaxanthin and blackcurrant extract can aid recovery from visual fatigue,” they concluded. The results are published in the journal Applied Ergonomics Volume 40, Issue 6.