Over 600 carotenoids are known, but only two of them are found in the eyes: lutein and zeaxanthin. The human body cannot produce them, so they have to be received through nutrition. Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in colourful vegetables, but people usually receive less of them than is beneficial for optimal health. Lutein and zeaxanthin work as antioxidants in the body, protecting the eyes, brain and skin, especially from the injurious effects of blue light.
Blue light is part of natural sunlight. UV light stops in the cornea - the front part of the eye - but blue light penetrates deeper, into the macula, because it has a short wavelength and high energy, and it can cause oxidative stress and damage in the retinal cells. Unfortunately, people are exposed to blue light more than ever before because it is emitted by computer screens, smart devices and televisions. Blue light regulates mood, alertness and the circadian rhythm. However, the excessive use of smart devices can be detrimental, with short-term effects being sleep disturbances, fatigue and dry eyes; the long-term effects being age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. Blue light may also decrease melatonin secretion and cause sleep disturbances because it tricks the brain into believing that it is not time for sleep; so browsing a phone or tablet in bed is best avoided, if one is suffering from insomnia.
Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of blue light because their lenses are still clear and blue light can penetrate into the retinal cells. Luckily, using lutein is safe for children, and during pregnancy and lactation. Lutein and zeaxantin will accumulate on the lens and retina of children to help them absorb blue light.
With ageing, lenses becomes yellowish and less blue light is able to penetrate; older people have a kind of 'internal sunglasses' in their eyes, which is caused by natural changes to the lens. Those who do not have lenses or artificial lenses with blue light filters are more vulnerable to the effects of blue light.
The connection between blue light and the development of AMD and glaucoma has been studied extensively - and proof of a link is getting stronger. AMD is one of the major causes of blindness in the Western world. Lutein intake is directly proportional to incidences of AMD, meaning it is possible to slow down or prevent the development of AMD. Lutein supplements end up in the macular and improve vision acuity and contrast vision, and with regular use, near and far-sight acuity is improved. Lutein is also beneficial in sunlight because light sensitivity will decrease and vision will recover sooner after the effects of its glare.
Blue light can penetrate and harm every layer of the skin, causing oxidative stress, which leads to skin prematurely ageing, wrinkles, reddening and age spots. Lutein protects the skin by absorbing blue light while enhancing the moisture and elasticity of it. Lutein also improves cognitive functions, development and maintenance. It can be highly beneficial for everybody, but especially for those who want to enhance their vision, or are already suffering from AMD or certain skin diseases.
Hankintatukku is a Finnish manufacturer of food supplements and cosmetics. Since 1982, the good manufacturing practice-compliant company has been dedicated to quality, innovation and comprehensive wellbeing. Hankintatukku's pharmaceutical factory is located in the pure, natural surroundings of southern Finland, with its headquarters being located in Helsinki. Hankintatukku has a strong focus on exporting and its products are currently available in approximately 30 countries worldwide.
Hankintatukku produces more than 200 special products covering the whole range of supplements, as well as other specialist products. Besides its own brands, Hankintatukku also makes private labels and offers contract manufacturing. The company's vision-health products are based on highquality, branded ingredients supported by clinical studies. Visiobalance contains FloraGlo lutein and zeaxanthin, together with bilberry, and Visiobalance Opti combines FloraGlo with vitamins, minerals and pycnogenol for the well-being of eye sight. Visioblue Strong contains nourishing bilberry extract and has a high anthocyanin content.