Cani-Vision (Short shelf life)Cani-Vision (Short shelf life)

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Description

Lutein is a type of carotenoid which is found widely in vegetables and other plants. As such they are not always widely available for animals with a low vegetable based diet. In nature, lutein absorbs excess light energy to prevent damage to plants from too much sunlight. Lutein is found in high concentrations in the macula of the eye, giving the macula its yellowish colour. In fact, the macula also is called the “macula lutea” (from the Latin macula, meaning “spot,” and lutea, meaning “yellow”).

It is believed that lutein in the macula blocks blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD).

Researchers at the Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit investigated the effect of carotenoid-containing supplements on retinal oxidative stress and inflammation and the development of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes was confirmed in all rats in the study, and then some rats were given a diet that included the nutritional supplements while others were given the same food but without the supplements. After 11 months, the retinas of the rats were evaluated for changes in blood vessels, cellular damage and other retinal changes characteristic of diabetic retinopathy and concluded that these supplements “could represent an achievable and inexpensive adjunct therapy” to inhibit diabetic retinopathy.

A number of studies have found that lutein and zeaxanthin either help prevent AMD or may slow progression of the disease:

  • Studies published in American Journal of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology found higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with a lower incidence of AMD.
  • Two studies published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found that eyes with greater levels of macular pigments were less likely to have or develop macular degeneration.

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