From the American Optometric Academy: Lutein and Zeaxanthin Diet & Nutrition learn more here
Family Friendly Facts – Lutein and Children’s Ocular Health
by Stephanie K. DeLong, Optometric Management
Lutein and zeaxanthin. Though they’re normally found together in nature, the typical American consumes only a total of 0.8 to 1.1 mg of them a day.1 The problem? “Based on the results of several randomized trials, daily intakes of 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin are recommended.”2
Those numbers refer to adults, but what about the importance of lutein and zeaxanthin, including supplementation, from gestation through age ten?
Dr. Dick Roberts, Scientific Affairs and Technical Services at Kemin Health, says, “We like to describe lutein as a nutrient that keeps eyes healthy. It naturally protects eyes from blue light to allow for sharper, crisper vision. It also helps protect from blue wavelengths of light from computers, smart phones, tablets and even LED-screen televisions that might cause damage in the eye.”
The lens of a young child’s eye is virtually transparent to all wavelengths of light.4 “If, however,” explains Dr. Roberts, “lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the eye as macular pigment, you can reduce the amount of blue light reaching the back of the eye.”5
The top foods for lutein consumption are spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, avocado, corn and eggs. For zeaxanthin, it’s corn, eggs, and orange peppers.6 For older children, 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin is typically recommended.
The benefits continue. There is, in fact, a correlation between macular pigment density and better memory and academic performance between the ages 8-10.10
1. The American Optometric Association. www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein.
2. CBI.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles. PMC2840187.
3. 40% Algvere P, Marshall J, and Seregard S. 2006. Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2006 Feb: 84(1): 4-15.
4. Dillon J, Zheng L, Merriama JC, Gaillard ER. 2004. Exp Eye Res. 79: 753-759.
5. Price, J. Nutritional Outlook. August 24, 2017.
6. Johnson, Elizabeth J. Lutein’s Role in Children’s Health. Kemin Industries, Inc. 2017: 4.
7. Johnson EJ, Vishwanathan Rohini, Sen S. Pediatric Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Nov.: 59:659-65.
8. Oliver S, Renzi L, Marriage B. JNutr. 2014 August: 144(8): 1256-1263.
9. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2004. GRAS Notice Inventory, GRN No. 140, 221 and 390.
10. Barnett SM, Khan NA, Walk AM, Raine LB, Moulton C, Cohen NJ, et al. Nutr Neurosci. 2017 May 23: 1–9.