11 Best Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin eye supplements

Sufficient levels of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin in our eye are vital for optimal visual performance, visual comfort and protection of our central vision from photochemical damage [Enhancing Performance While Avoiding Damage: A Contribution of Macular Pigment (2013)]. Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin collectively form macular pigment, our natural blue light filter and anti-oxidant. Since a typical diet rarely offsets the depletion of our macular pigment it makes a lot of sense to consider eye supplements containing all three macular pigment carotenoids: Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin.


Disclaimer: My interest in macular pigment and blue light is due to my problems with light sensitivity (photophobia), discomfort glare, and computer eye strain. I am not a vision scientist.

Disclosure: I would like you to know that if you use some of the links below and purchase a product I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. To support GLARminY, use commission links. You may alsogive” a small percentage of anything you might buy from Amazon by accessing Amazon here (commission link) at any other time. Thanks.


 

Computer screen excessive blue light emissions are often the root cause of computer eye strain

Excessive blue light is a terrible disturbance to our precision vision and has become increasingly problematic with the advent of computer screen-based lifestyles. Digital screens require precision vision, yet unlike natural light sources, they tend to emit blue light with disproportionally high intensity.

Spectral power distribution (SPD) of digital screens exhibits important differences when compared to natural light sources: SPD of a typical digital screen has an extremely high peak in the blue wavelength range. It doubles the green peak and triples the red peak in intensity. Natural sources, to which our eyes are adapted, have a more evenly distributed SPD (Sun) or emit blue light with lower power compared to longer wavelengths (fire/candle, moon). Note absolute intensities (vertical axis) are very different. Click to enlarge. Source: fluxometer.

Excessive blue light from digital screens makes our eyes strain because:

You can see why digital screens with their high blue light content tend to be the worse possible setting for good visual performance, visual comfort, and possibly even eye health.

Subsequently, the risk of developing chronic eye fatigue and computer eye strain symptoms is increased unless blue light is effectively blocked with macular pigment (Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin) or some other, external blue light filter [Contrast Sensitivity and Lateral Inhibition Are Enhanced With Macular Carotenoid Supplementation (2017), Blue-Light Filtering Spectacle Lenses: Optical and Clinical Performances (2017)].

Lutein-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplements_macular pigment position and cone density

The image shows Macular pigment’s (MP) placement at the center of our retinas, right in front of the spot of the highest Cone density. Cones are photoreceptors for photopic – daylight, precision vision. (Rods are our photoreceptors for low light conditions that, conversely, depend principally on blue light).  Source: [The Visual Effects of Intraocular Colored Filters (2012)]

 

Where does Meso-zeaxanthin come from: directly from food or from Lutein?

Recently there has been a lot of progress in macular pigment research enabled by technological advances. Subsequently, older theories are being questioned – certainly the hypothesis that Meso-Zeaxanthin is bio-converted wholly and solely from Lutein in our macular pigment. Moreover, challenges inherent in the separation and quantification of Meso-Zeaxanthin have resulted in scarcity of data on the content of this carotenoid in different foods, and have rendered the study of tissue concentrations of this compound problematic [What is meso-zeaxanthin, and where does it come from? (2013)].

In the midst of this scientific debate, what is really important right now is that supplements containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin improve our macular pigment performance and that they are safe.

 

Do Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin supplements work?

It is been demonstrated that supplementing Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin does help maintain or rebuild macular pigment to be more effective at filtering blue light [A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effects of Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Photostress Recovery, Glare Disability, and Chromatic Contrast (2014). Serum and retinal responses to three different doses of macular carotenoids over 12 weeks of supplementation (2016)].

 

Are macular pigment supplements safe?

There is no evidence that eye supplements containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin and/or Meso-Zeaxanthin have any negative side effects [Supplementation with all three macular carotenoids: response, stability, and safety (2011)]. This is reasonable considering that all these three substances are normally found in our food, blood, and eyes (see also Meso-zeaxanthin, Web-md, Leaf).

 

Should you consider macular pigment eye supplements?

Macular pigment is being constantly consumed in the anti-oxidative process protecting our central vision photoreceptors. Thus its efficiency (at filtering blue light and its anti-oxidative capacity) is gradually reduced.

Our diets tend not to be sufficiently reach in Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin to offset macular pigment depletion.

Lutein-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplements_macular pigment profilesExamples of different macular pigment profiles [Macular pigment imaging in AREDS-2 participants: an ancillary study of AREDS-2 subjects enrolled at the Moran Eye Center (2013)]

It therefore makes sense to use supplements containing Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin. Particularly if:

  • you are a heavy computer user

Lutein-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplements_macular pigment spectral transmissionLutein-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplements_macular pigment spectral transmissionSpectral transmission of macular pigment: It filters most light at ~460nm, which coincides with peak intensity of blue light emitted by digital screens. Image source: Fluxometer.

 

Best macular pigment supplementation formula: With Meso-zeaxanthin

It’s been shown that the Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-zeaxanthin work best together (as blue light filter and anti-oxidant). Meso-zeaxanthin dominates at the epicenter of our macular pigment and is essential for effective protection of our central vision from blue light. (Zeaxanthin dominates in the mid-periphery, and Lutein in the periphery) [Distribution of lutein and zeaxanthin stereoisomers in the human retina (1997)].

Moreover, Meso-zeaxanthin is the most potent anti-oxidant [Synergistic effects of zeaxanthin and its binding protein in the prevention of lipid membrane oxidation (2005)].

Given that Meso-Zeaxanthin is about a third of our macular pigment and because of the above mentioned scientific dispute about how Meso-Zeaxanthin is replenished in our eye, it is reasonable to take macular pigment supplements containing all three carotenoids, including Meso-zeaxanthin.

However, just before listing 11 such eye supplements, it should be recognized, that there are many other popular macular pigment eye supplements that don’t declare containing Meso-zeaxanthin (amounts of Lutein and Zeaxanthin per serving are specified where available):

PreserVision:
AREDS 2 formula (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg)
AREDS 2 formula + Multivitamin (Lutein 5mg, Zeaxanthin 1mg)
AREDS Lutein formula (Lutein 5mg)
PreserVision brand store at Amazon (commission link).

EyePromise:
– Restore (Lutein 4mg, Zeaxanthin 8mg);
– DVS (Luten 4mg, Zeaxanthin 8mg)
– AREDS 2 Plus Zinc-Free (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 10mg)
– AREDS 2 Plus with a Multi-Vitamin (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 10mg)
– Vizual Edge (Lutein 7mg, Zeaxanthin 14mg)
– Vizual Edge Chewable (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 20mg)
– Vizual Edge PRO (Lutein 8mg, Zeaxanthin 26mg)
– Zeaxanthin (Zeaxanthin 10mg)
– Zeaxanthin + Lutein (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 10mg)
EyePromise brand shop on Amazon (commission link).

Ocuvite:
– Eye Health Gummies (Lutein 5mg, Zeaxanthin 1mg)
– Adult 50+ (Lutein 5mg, Zeaxanthin 1mg)
– Eye + Multi (Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg)
– Lutein 25 (Lutein 25mg, Zeaxanthin 5mg)
Ocuvite – Amazon shop (commission link).

See also Amazon Best Sellers in:
– Carotenoids Nutritional Supplements (commission link)
– Lutein Nutritional Supplements (commission link)

 

Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-zeaxanthin eye health supplements

Below is the list of eye health supplements containing all three carotenoids. It is divided in two sections:
– Eye supplements that focus exclusively on macular pigment carotenoids (as active ingredients, contain only Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin)
– Eye supplements containing other minerals, vitamins, omega-3 rich oils, etc. in addition to macular pigment carotenoids

(The amounts of Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin are as declared per serving).

 

Pure macular pigment eye supplements

MacuHealth and MacuShield (identical amounts of the three macular pigment carotenoids per serving) put a lot of emphasis on Meso-Zeaxanthin, which appears reasonable given its position at the center of macular pigment and its high anti-oxidative power.

 

MacuHealth
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_MacuHealth_Supplement Facts

See below for a cheaper version of what appears to be the same product.

Buy MacuHealth from Amazon (commission link)


MacuShield
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)
– the UK equivalent to MacuHealth – but cheaper!?

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield_Nutritional info

Based on the similarities it seems safe to consider Macushield equivalent to MacuHealth (above):

  • note the visual similarities between the two brands
  • the same slogan
  • importantly, in terms of active ingredients they are identical: 10mg Lutein, 2mg Zeaxanthin and 10mg Meso-Zeaxanthin.

I’ve been using MacuShield for a year, with good results (see full review).

MacuShield is available also to US customers through Amazon.UK (commission link). The savings may be worth waiting a few extra days for your eye supplements to arrive.


MacuShield Vegetarian
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield VegetarianLutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield Vegetarian_Nutritional Info

Buy MacuShield Vegetarian on Amazon.UK (commission link).


Doctor’s Best Lutein with Meso-Zeaxanthin Supplement
(Lutein 20mg, Zeaxanthin 4mg including minimum 1mg of Meso Zeaxanthin)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_doctors best Lutein Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_doctors best Lutein_Supplement Facts

Buy Doctor’s BEST Lutein on Amazon (commission link)


Puritan’s Pride Healthy Eyes Lutigold Extra
(20mg of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso Zeaxanthin combined)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Puritans Pride LutigoldLutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Puritans Pride Lutigold_Supplement facts

Shop Puritan’s Pride Healthy Eyes Lutigold Extra at Amazon (commission link)


 

Eye supplements containg other active ingredients in addition to Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin

 

EXIR Saffron Vision Max 20/20
(Lutein 20mg, Zeaxanthin 4mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Exir Vision Max 20-20 Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Exir Vision Max 20-20_Supplement facts

Buy EXIR Saffron Vision Max 20/20 on Amazon (commission link)


MacuShield GOLD – the AREDS-2 Formula
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield GOLD Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield GOLD_Nutritional Info

Shop Macushield Gold on Amazon.UK (commission link)


MacuShield EnergEyes with B-complex vitamins
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 2mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield EnergEyes Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Macushield EnergEyes_Nutritional info

Shop MacuShield at Amazon.UK (commission link)


EXIR Saffron Vision Max AREDS-2 Formula
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin 1mg, Meso-Zeaxanthin 10mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Exir Vision Max Suffron AREDS 2 Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Exir Vision Max Suffron AREDS 2_Supplement facts

Buy EXIR Saffron Vision Max AREDS-2 Formula at Amazon (commission link)


Life Extension MacuGuard Ocular Support plus Astaxanthin
(Lutein 10mg, Meso Zeaxanthin and Trans-Zeaxanthin 4mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Life Extension MacuGuard Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_Life Extension MacuGuard_Supplement Facts

Shop MacuGuard at Amazon (commission link)


OS2 – The Ocular Support Solution
(Lutein 10mg, Zeaxanthin – including Meso-Zeaxanthin 2mg)

Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_OS 2 Ocular Support Lutein-zeaxanthin-meso-zeaxanthin eye supplement_OS 2 Ocular Support_Supplement Facts

Shop OS2 – The Ocular Support Solution on Amazon (commission link)

 

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