A new February 2018 study from Denmark found that if people have reduced ability to digest food, it may affect their eyesight. Why? Because they are not absorbing key nutrients vital for eye health: carotenoid vitamins. This research looked at the association between people who have digestive issues that resulted in intestinal surgery and their body’s levels of lutein, zeaxanthin and β-carotene — along with their “macular pigment optical density,” which provides eye health data. Then they compared these people with those that have healthy digestion.
The scientists found that the amount of lutein, zeaxanthin and β-carotene and the level of macular pigment optical density were 15% lower in the group with lesser digestion compared to healthy people. In research, a 15% difference is massive! The researchers found that the same percentage of reduced nutrients were also present (measured in their blood) when people didn’t eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin in foods — in bright orange, red and green vegetables, for example.
(Eriksen JN, Prahm AP, Falk MK, et al., “Serum carotenoids and macular pigment optical density in patients with intestinal resections…” J Nutr Sci. 2018 Feb 5;7:e8. doi: 10.1017/jns.2017.71. University of Copenhagen, Denmark)