Dilated Eyes
© Greenmed Info.com
I've been spending long weekends glued to the LCD fishing for clinical pearls, as it were, for the GreenMedInfo.com project. My eyes have been getting a bit fried over the past year, so I've been crossing my fingers to find a study which demonstrates that a natural substance can reduce the adverse effects on the retina of the photons and electromagnetic radiation coming off of a computer monitor. I'm happy to report I have finally found one!

Abstract Title:
A 12-week lutein supplementation improves visual function in Chinese people with long-term computer display light exposure.

Abstract Source:
Br J Nutr. 2009 Jul;102(2):186-90. Greenmedinfo


We aimed to examine the effect of different doses of lutein supplementation on visual function in subjects with long-term computer display light exposure. Thirty-seven healthy subjects with long-term computer display light exposure ranging in age from 22 to 30 years were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Group L6 (6 mg lutein/d, n 12); Group L12 (12 mg lutein/d, n 13); and Group Placebo (maltodextrin placebo, n 12). Levels of serum lutein and visual performance indices such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity were measured at weeks 0 and 12. After 12-week lutein supplementation, serum lutein concentrations of Groups L6 and L12 increased from 0.356 (SD 0.117) to 0.607 (SD 0.176) micromol/l, and from 0.328 (SD 0.120) to 0.733 (SD 0.354) micromol/l, respectively. No statistical changes from baseline were observed in uncorrected visual acuity and best-spectacle corrected visual acuity, whereas there was a trend toward increase in visual acuity in Group L12. Contrast sensitivity in Groups L6 and L12 increased with supplementation, and statistical significance was reached at most visual angles of Group L12. No significant change was observed in glare sensitivity over time. Visual function in healthy subjects who received the lutein supplement improved, especially in contrast sensitivity, suggesting that a higher intake of lutein may have beneficial effects on the visual performance.

Keep in mind that egg yolks and kale, for instance, are exceptionally rich in lutein and related eye friendly carotenoids - i.e., supplements while convenient are not necessary.

Another related study showed the benefit of yoga for reducing visual strain associated with computer use. View here.