Free Shipping with Auto-Delivery &
Savings up to 20% with a Package Plan
1 888 433 4726
Retina is Vulnerable to Effects of Blue Light
While wavelengths in the UV radiation range are largely absorbed by the cornea and lens, the retina is exposed to visible light, including blue light. Animal and laboratory studies have shown that blue light damages the retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris through generation of reactive oxygen species and may be a factor in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD).
Protection against the harmful effects of blue light is provided by the retinal antioxidant defense system, which includes antioxidant enzymes supported by vitamins C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin, and zinc. Lutein and zeaxanthin are highly concentrated in the macula, where they act as scavengers of reactive oxygen species and filter blue light.
Only a few studies have investigated associations of sunlight exposure with AMD in human populations, and the results have been inconsistent. Up to now, however, studies have paid little attention to possible interactions between antioxidant levels and light exposure, though the adverse effects of sunlight may be attenuated by the protective effects of antioxidants.
Now, the European Eye (EUREYE) Study has examined the association of sunlight exposure and antioxidant levels with AMD. The study was designed to maximize a diversity of sunlight exposure and antioxidant levels by selecting study centers throughout Europe.
Study Design and Methods
Four thousand seven hundred fifty-three participants 65 years or older in the EUREYE Study underwent fundus photography, were interviewed for adult lifetime sunlight exposure, and gave blood for antioxidant analysis. Blue light exposure was estimated by combining meteorological and questionnaire data.
Data on sunlight exposure and antioxidants were available in 101 individuals with neovascular AMD, 2182 with early AMD, and 2117 controls. No link was found between blue light exposure and neovascular or early AMD. However significant associations were found between blue light exposure and wet AMD in participants in the lowest quartile of individual antioxidant levels - vitamin C, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and dietary zinc - with an odds ratio (OR) of about 1.4, or a 40% higher risk, for 1 standard deviation unit increase in blue light exposure.
Low blood levels of certain antioxidant combinations showed higher ORs of blue light exposure compared with single antioxidants. Higher odds ratios for blue light were observed with low levels of vitamin C, zeaxanthin and vitamin E, especially (odds ratio, 3.7; 95% CI 1.6-8.9), which were also associated with early AMD stages.
These results suggest that higher UV exposure may contribute to AMD in those with sub-optimal levels of select antioxidants. The authors conclude that … " people in the general population should use ocular protection and follow dietary recommendations for the key antioxidant nutrients."
Reference Fletcher AE, et al. Sunlight exposure, antioxidants, and age-related macular degeneration. Archives Ophthalmology 126:1396-1403, 2008.
Sign up to get nutrition news, health tips, and product updates.
Your information is never shared with third parties.
View Now >
Get $5 off your next order when you like our Facebook page
Innovative Nutraceuticals for Eye Health
This site chose VeriSign SSL
for secure e-commerce and
Call us Toll Free 1 888 433 4726. From Outside the US and Canada 281 885 7700
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.