Thursday 8 December 2016

Supplements sharpen vision

Published 12/07/2016 | 02:30

Health supplements
Health supplements

It's possible for people with good eyesight to get sharper vision, according to new research.

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People who took dietary supplements containing lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin over a year saw a marked improvement in visual function.

The research was carried out by the Macular Pigment Research Group at Nutrition Research Centre Ireland, which is part of the School of Health Sciences at Waterford and is the only facility of its kind in the world.

The results have important implications for those who rely on their vision for professional reasons, such as high-performance sportspeople like golfers and hurlers, through to pilots, police and military marksmen. Of the 105 volunteers, 53 received daily supplements while 52 received a placebo.

The vision improvement recorded was primarily in people's contrast sensitivity - how much contrast a person needs to see a target (ie how faint an object you can see).

Director Prof Stephen Beatty said there are significant quality of life implications arising from the research findings. "Clearly this will enhance everyday activities, such as enjoying a pleasant view, but these improvements also make it easier to read printed text."

Funded by the European Research Council, this is the first rigidly-designed study of its kind.

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