- Zeaxanthin is a nutrient found in nature as colorants or pigment. It is also found in vegetables such as kale, plus various fruits and corn. Calendula (Marigold)s are also sources of zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is found naturally in the body, predominantly in the eyes and brain.
- Zeaxanthin is 5 to 10 times less common than lutein in human blood and 10 to 20 times less common in the average diet.
- Zeaxanthin is a powerful, natural antioxidant that protects the eye by absorbing damaging blue light and reducing glare. Blue light can cause harmful oxidative stress in the eye. Zeaxanthin protects cells and membranes by reducing harmful free radicals.
- Zeaxanthin is not “made” in the human body and must come from food or dietary supplements. Receiving adequate amounts of zeaxanthin through food can be particularly difficult, as it requires many servings a day of certain fruits and vegetables.
- Only one zeaxanthin form (3R, 3’R) is naturally found in fruits and vegetables and it is one the body prefers. It is also the only one that has been approved as a dietary supplement. Other forms, like meso-zeaxanthin, cannot be considered a dietary supplement, as they are not found in our average diet.
- Zeaxanthin is a main component of the macular pigment in the retina. Zeaxanthin is preferentially deposited over lutein in the center of the macular, the most important area for central vision. Zeaxanthin is also found in the brain and other organs.
- The role played by the powerful antioxidant zeaxanthin in the eye is to sharpen central vision (the clearness with which objects stand out from their surroundings), reduce the effects of glare (blue light) and maintain healthy visual acuity. These important functions all take place in the fovea, located in the center of the macula of the human eye. This is where the body requires a steady supply of the macular pigment zeaxanthin. Individual levels of zeaxanthin in the body are strongly influenced by diet. Zeaxanthin cannot be produced by the human body and must come from dietary intake.
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeaxanthin