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Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid that is responsible for giving many plants their reddish color. Saffron, paprika (made from bell peppers), wolfberries, and corn are just some of the many plants and extracts that contain zeaxanthin.
In humans, Zeaxanthin is found in the retina of the eye. This is why researchers and experts suggest that zeaxanthin and lutein may helpful in supporting eye health and to treat vision problems. Let’s explore everything you need to know about zeaxanthin.
Benefits of Zeaxanthin
Zeaxanthin is really a one-trick pony when it comes to its’ health benefits. Zeaxanthin and its’ counterpart lutein are often studied together and it is believed the two go hand in hand to support eye health.
One study found that higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye tissue typically lead to better vision. This is most noticeable in dim light or where glare is a problem.
Another recent study found that diets rich in these two antioxidants appear to also protect against age-related eye diseases. In the study, people with diets high in zeaxanthin rich foods like spinach, kale, and broccoli were up to 50% less likely to develop cataracts.
A third study, considered a major study (known as AREDS2) found that supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin can slow the progression of macular degeneration in adults who already have started to develop the condition.
Overall, zeaxanthin and lutein both seem vital to the health of the eyes and for vision. This is by far the most notable benefit to taking zeaxanthin and there are few other known benefits to taking zeaxanthin.
The good news is that zeaxanthin is a fairly common carotenoid that is found in many foods you probably already eat. Some of the best sources of zeaxanthin include:
• Turnip greens
• Winter squash
• Yellow corn
• Mandarin oranges
There are dozens of other foods that also contain zeaxanthin, which is why you should have no problem taking enough zeaxanthin on a daily basis. However, in the event you do, we recommend considering zeaxanthin supplements, which are readily available and can be found through various retailers.
Side Effects of Zeaxanthin Supplements
Believe it or not, there do not appear to be any common side effects associated with Zeaxanthin. Supplementation 6.9 to 11.7mg of lutein and zeaxanthin appears to be the most effective range for eye health.
Studies, some of which we mentioned above, have found lutein and zeaxanthin to be safe in doses up to 15mg daily for upwards of 2 years. It is also believed that zeaxanthin is safe when consumed naturally in foods.
Where to Buy Zeaxanthin Supplements
If you don’t have access to zeaxanthin rich foods or just want to incorporate a zeaxanthin supplement into your diet, then you’re in luck. Zeaxanthin is readily available at your local health store or through various online retailers such as Amazon or Wal-Mart.
You should find a supplement with a concentration of between 5-10mg of zeaxanthin a day, which is the recommended dosage. Most supplements will only cost you around $10-20 for a month’s supply, although you may be able to find cheaper sources online.