Macular Carotenoids

Vitamins, adaptogenic herbs, amino acids, and most other nutritional ingredients are not one dimensional in the health benefits they are capable of delivering. Various ingredients can be combined synergistically with a specific intent, but there are often ancillary benefits to each of them that can be discovered when you look deeper. Such is the case with each Wilderness Athlete product formulation. We wanted to bring your attention to a recent study that found some very exciting results pertaining to our latest product Precision Vision, specifically the macular carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin.


First, lets get a firm understanding of what macular carotenoids are. Affectionately referred to as “the eye vitamins”, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are carotenoid antioxidants synthesized only by plants and can be found in high quantities in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and fruits like kiwi, grapes, and more. While over 600 different carotenoids can be found in nature, only 20 or so reach the eyes. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are the only three carotenoids of those 20 that effectively reach the macular portion of the eye with any significant quantity. By providing antioxidant support to the retina, these macular carotenoids help fight free radical damage caused by harmful light exposure which ultimately leads to disorders like macular degeneration, cataracts, and malignant cell growth. Effectively, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin are best known for their association with lowering the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

“Not convinced, my eyes are fine…” you say? Let’s briefly depart from the science that tells us with certainty that while you may not see the benefit now, with age, you will see even less if you don’t take macular carotenoids seriously. Surely enticing, however, are the numerous benefits found in young adults with the use of macular carotenoid supplementation. In a study published in February of this year, supplementation of macular carotenoids was shown to significantly reduce stress, cortisol, and symptoms of sub-optimal emotional and physical health. Knowing that oxidative stress and systemic inflammation are the root causes of several adverse effects of chronic psychological stress, it was hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities of macular carotenoids lutein,zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin would offer relief of those physiological stresses.

Macular Carotenoids StudyOver a 12 month double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 59 young healthy individuals were divided into three groups and given either a placebo, 13 mg, or 27 mg of macular carotenoids per day. An assessment of blood cortisol, psychological stress ratings, behavioral measures of mood, and symptoms of sub-optimal health were taken at baseline, 6 months, and again at 12 months. At baseline, a significant correlation was established between Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) and Beck anxiety scores, a self-report inventory used for measuring the severity of anxiety. In short, a healthy ratio of 2:1 of zeaxanthin and lutein in the macula is significantly correlated to how one experiences anxiety. MPOD was also found to significantly correlate to psychological distress and serum cortisol scores. The supplementation groups at 6 months saw improvements in all of these scores versus the placebo group. At 12 months, outcomes were either maintained or improved further.

The moral of this story is that when analyzing the potential health benefits of a nutritional supplement, it pays to have a concentrated understanding of its ingredients and a broad understanding of your health as a whole. As is the case with Precision Vision, and many other Wilderness Athlete products, a comprehensive supplement formula is multi-dimensional in the nourishing benefits it can have on your body.

If you would like to read further into the methods and results of this study click the button below.

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Precision Vison