Eyes

PLNKTN: AN EYE ON YOUR NUTRITION

The colour of your eyes depend on certain pigments which are present in your iris. But did you know pigments play a more vital role in your eyes?

The innermost layer of the eye contains high levels of pigments - especially lutein and zeaxanthin - and is called the retina (1-2). In the center of the retina there is a high concentration of light receptors which are responsible for sharp central vision and high resolution visual acuity (3).

Current evidence has suggested that certain pigments support adequate eye development before we are born; throughout our life span for vision performance in young and later adulthood; and plays a key role in lowering risk of age-related eye disease (4).

The pigments are partially responsible for converting light into vision. During this process captured light is converted into electrochemical signals which eventually provide our vision. At the same time, during such biological processes, many substances are generated: also in the eyes. One of these byproducts are reactive oxygen radicals. These radicals can be damaging for surrounding tissue, such as vital structures of our eye - and therefore our vision. As we get older, certain parts of the retina are susceptible to these degenerative changes. The pigments from plnktn. can neutralize these radicals.

Plnktn

wHAT DAMAGES OUR EYES?

During light exposure and various biochemical reactions, reactive oxygen radicals are produced in our eye. These particles can cause damage to vital structures, which can alter our vision (5). The subsequent damage can promote low-grade state of chronic inflammation in the eye, causing additional damage. This oxidative damage and inflammatory play the key role in initiating age-related diseases (6).

Plnktn

ROLE OF MARINE PHYTOPLANKTON

A vast amount of studies have shown the ability of antioxidants to scavenge and neutralize these damaging oxygen radicals (7).

plnktn. contains a great amount of antioxidants (beta-carotene, zeaxanthin etc.), which might help against the oxidative damage of these ROS (8-10). The most researched pigments with eye-protective properties are zeaxanthin and lutein (11). These pigments can also decrease the production of pro-inflammatory substances, thereby reducing the inflammatory response (12). Besides diet, other modifiable factors are exercise and smoking. The latter had pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidative properties, which can directly cause more damage to our eye (13).

Humans cannot synthesize these protective pigments themselves: so we must obtain these nutrients through our diet.

Seeing their protective properties, the pigments of plnktn. can potentially improve or maintain eyesight through protection against harmful light and oxidative damage due to their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties (14).

Further, we will discuss the potential of plnktn. supplementation against two common eye diseases: age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

PLNKTN & MACULAR DEGENERATION

The most common eye disease associated with age is macular degeneration (MD). MD is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment and blindness. By 2050, the number of MD patients is estimated to grow from 196 million in 2020 to 288 million (15).

Pigments
Studies have shown that individuals with a higher zeaxanthin and lutein consumption had a reduction in MD compared to those with a lower intake (16-19). Thus, people that incorporate high antioxidative substances in their diets may be less likely to develop MD than diets that are lacking anti-oxidative (20).

Omega-3 fatty acids
Experimental, clinical, as well as epidemiological data have shown that nutritional omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a protective rol in MD progression and a reduced incidence (21-22). Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, they can decrease the duration and severity of inflammatory responses in the eye. Marine Phytoplankton is the primary producer of these omega-3 fatty acids, it is a great way to supplement your body with these fatty acids.

Micronutrients
Various longitudinal studies have shown shown positive effects of micronutrients to prevent progression of MD, especially beta-carotene and zinc (23-24). Zinc is supporting more than 300 enzymatic reactions, and plays an important antioxidative role in the eye. Lower levels of zinc have been associated with worse night vision en degradation of photoreceptors in the eye (25). On top of that, research has suggested that antioxidant pigments such as zeaxanthin and lutein could be more effective than beta-carotene (26-27).

PLNKTN & DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

One of the most common complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy (DR), and it affects approximately one third of diabetes patients (28). It is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness (29).

Numerous studies show the protective effects of pigments on visual function of diabetes patients: higher levels of these pigments were associated with a lower risk of DR progression or development (30-33).

plnktn & other diseases

Recent and ongoing studies suggest that supplementing the antioxidative pigments can reduce various other eye-related diseases, such as cataract, dry eye syndrome, etc. (34-35).

Besides age-related eye diseases, a higher intake of pigments was associated with improved visual performance in younger adults as well (36).

CONCLUSION

Antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and other micronutrients can exert positive effect and partially protect the eye against degeneration and excessive damage. Enriching your diet with plnktn. - and therefore, its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties - can support and protect your eyes against oxidative damage.

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LIST OF REFERENCES
Please click below to see which scientific articles were used to gather information concerning the subject.

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(1). Delcourt C, Carrière I, Delage M, Barberger-Gateau P, Schalch W; POLA StudyGroup. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoids as modifiable riskfactors for age-related maculopathy and cataract: the POLA Study. InvestOphthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Jun;47(6):2329-35. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1235. PMID:16723441.

 

(2). Krinsky NI, Landrum JT, Bone RA. Biologic mechanisms of the protective roleof lutein and zeaxanthin in the eye. Annu Rev Nutr. 2003;23:171-201. doi:10.1146/annurev.nutr.23.011702.073307. Epub 2003 Feb 27. PMID: 12626691.

 

(3). Li LH, Lee JC, Leung HH, Lam WC, Fu Z, Lo ACY. Lutein Supplementation forEye Diseases. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1721. Published 2020 Jun 9.doi:10.3390/nu12061721

 

(4). Gorusupudi A, Nelson K, Bernstein PS. The Age-Related Eye Disease 2 Study:Micronutrients in the Treatment of Macular Degeneration. Adv Nutr. 2017 Jan17;8(1):40-53. doi: 10.3945/an.116.013177. PMID: 28096126; PMCID: PMC5227975.

 

(5). Margrain TH, Boulton M, Marshall J, Sliney DH. Do blue light filters conferprotection against age-related macular degeneration? Prog Retin Eye Res. 2004 Sep;23(5):523-31. doi:10.1016/j.preteyeres.2004.05.001. PMID: 15302349.

 

(6). Bungau S, Abdel-Daim MM, Tit DM, Ghanem E, Sato S, Maruyama-Inoue M, YamaneS, Kadonosono K. Health Benefits of Polyphenols and Carotenoids in Age-RelatedEye Diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Feb 12;2019:9783429. doi:10.1155/2019/9783429. PMID: 30891116; PMCID: PMC6390265.

 

(7). Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements forslowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane DatabaseSyst Rev. 2012 Nov 14;11:CD000254. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000254.pub3. Updatein: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 31;7:CD000254. PMID: 23152201.

 

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(10). Li B, Vachali PP, Shen Z, Gorusupudi A, Nelson K, Besch BM, Bartschi A,Longo S, Mattinson T, Shihab S, Polyakov NE, Suntsova LP, Dushkin AV, BernsteinPS. Retinal accumulation of zeaxanthin, lutein, and β-carotene in mice deficient in carotenoid cleavageenzymes. Exp Eye Res. 2017 Jun;159:123-131. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2017.02.016.Epub 2017 Mar 9. PMID: 28286282; PMCID: PMC5494257.

 

(11). J.T. Landrum, R.A. Bone,Lutein, zeaxanthin, and the macular pigment, Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 385 (2001)28–40, https://doi.org/10.1006/abbi.2000.2171.

(12). Bungau S, Abdel-Daim MM, Tit DM, Ghanem E, Sato S, Maruyama-Inoue M, YamaneS, Kadonosono K. Health Benefits of Polyphenols and Carotenoids in Age-RelatedEye Diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Feb 12;2019:9783429. doi:10.1155/2019/9783429. PMID: 30891116; PMCID: PMC6390265.

 

(13). Jager RD, Mieler WF, Miller JW. Age-related macular degeneration. N Engl JMed. 2008 Jun 12;358(24):2606-17. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra0801537. Erratum in: NEngl J Med. 2008 Oct 16;359(16): 1736. PMID: 18550876.

 

(14). A. Sujak, J. Gabrielska, W.Grudziński, R. Borc, P. Mazurek, W.I. Gruszecki, Lutein and zeaxanthin asprotectors of lipid membranes against oxidative damage: the structural aspects,Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 371 (1999) 301–307, https://doi.org/10.1006/abbi.1999.1437.

(15). Wong WL, Su X, Li X, Cheung CM, Klein R, Cheng CY, Wong TY. Globalprevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projectionfor 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health.2014 Feb;2(2):e106-16. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(13)70145-1. Epub 2014 Jan 3.PMID: 25104651.

 

(16). Tan JS, Wang JJ, Flood V, Rochtchina E, Smith W, Mitchell P. Dietaryantioxidants and the long-term incidence of age-related macular degeneration:the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology. 2008 Feb;115(2):334-41. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.03.083. Epub 2007 Jul 30. PMID: 17664009.

 

(17). Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY,Clemons TE, Ferris FL 3rd, Gensler G, Lindblad AS, Milton RC, Seddon JM,Sperduto RD. The relationship of dietary carotenoid and vitamin A, E, and Cintake with age-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDSReport No. 22. Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 Sep;125(9):1225-32. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.9.1225. PMID: 17846363.

 

(18). Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. EyeDisease Case-Control Study Group. Arch Ophthalmol. 1993 Jan;111(1):104-9. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090010108035. Erratum in: Arch Ophthalmol 1993Nov;111(11):1499. Erratum in: Arch Ophthalmol 1993 Sep;111(9):1228, 1993 Oct;111(10):1366.PMID: 7678730.

 

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(20). Zampatti S, Ricci F, Cusumano A, Marsella LT, Novelli G, Giardina E. Reviewof nutrient actions on age-related macular degeneration. Nutr Res. 2014 Feb;34(2):95-105. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2013.10.011. Epub 2013 Nov 4. PMID: 24461310.

 

(21). SanGiovanni JP, Chew EY, Clemons TE, Davis MD, Ferris FL 3rd, Gensler GR,Kurinij N, Lindblad AS, Milton RC, Seddon JM, Sperduto RD; Age-Related EyeDisease Study Research Group. The relationship of dietary lipid intake andage-related macular degeneration in a case-control study: AREDS Report No. 20.Arch Ophthalmol. 2007 May;125(5):671-9. doi: 10.1001/archopht.125.5.671. PMID:17502507.

 

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(30). Moschos MM, Dettoraki M, Tsatsos M, Kitsos G, Kalogeropoulos C. Effect ofcarotenoids dietary supplementation on macular function in diabetic patients.Eye Vis (Lond). 2017 Oct 15;4:23. doi: 10.1186/s40662-017-0088-4. PMID:29046877; PMCID: PMC5641400.

 

(31). Davies NP, Morland AB. Color matching in diabetes: optical density of thecrystalline lens and macular pigments. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002Jan;43(1):281-9. PMID: 11773043.

 

(32). Lima VC, Rosen RB, Maia M, Prata TS, Dorairaj S, Farah ME, Sallum J.Macular pigment optical density measured by dual-wavelength autofluorescenceimaging in diabetic and nondiabetic patients: a comparative study. InvestOphthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Nov;51(11):5840-5. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4695. Epub2010 May 26. PMID: 20505210.

 

(33). Brazionis L, Rowley K, Itsiopoulos C, O'Dea K. Plasma carotenoids and diabeticretinopathy. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(2):270-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508006545.Epub 2008 Jun 13. PMID: 18554424.

 

(34). Delcourt C, Carrière I, Delage M, Barberger-Gateau P, Schalch W; POLA StudyGroup. Plasma lutein and zeaxanthin and other carotenoids as modifiable riskfactors for age-related maculopathy and cataract: the POLA Study. InvestOphthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 Jun;47(6):2329-35. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1235. PMID:16723441.

 

(35). McCusker MM, Durrani K, Payette MJ, Suchecki J. An eye on nutrition: Therole of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants in age-relatedmacular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, and cataract. Clin Dermatol. 2016Mar-Apr;34(2):276-85. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2015.11.009. Epub 2015 Nov22. PMID: 26903189.

 

(36). J. Kvansakul, M.Rodriguez-Carmona, D.F. Edgar, F.M. Barker, W. Köpcke,
W. Schalch, J.L. Barbur,Supplementation with the carotenoids lutein or zeax- anthin improves humanvisual performance, Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt.26 (2006) 362–371, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-1313.2006.00387.x.