Nutrition for Vision: Implications for Performance and Protection by James M. Stringham, PhD

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In the past decade, there has been an enormous increase in our understanding of how specific micronutrients influence visual performance and can protect the visual system (including the brain). Far and away, the strongest effects have been found for lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. Speed of visual processing, contrast sensitivity, and vision in low- and bright-light conditions are all significantly improved with supplementation of these nutrients and commensurate increase of macular pigment density. Additionally, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin protect the retina and brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. This lecture will cover these effects in the context of visual performance in athletic competition, and, based on the results of several recent animal model studies, the potential for protection against and recovery from traumatic brain injury will be discussed.


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