What is Zeaxanthin?

Zeaxanthin is a natural carotenoid—yellow to red pigments found widely in vegetables and other plants. The name, pronounced zee-uh-ZAN-thin, comes from a combination of the words “Zea mays,” or common yellow maize corn, and xanthos, the Greek word for "yellow".

Of the 600 carotenoids found in nature, only two are deposited in high quantities in the retina (macula) of the eye: zeaxanthin and lutein. Within the central macula, zeaxanthin is the dominant component, whereas in the peripheral retina, lutein predominates.

The macula is the critical part of your eye you need for central and night vision. This part of the eye is what lets you see the fine details that are directly in front of you, like words on a page, a tool in a drawer or stitches on a sewing project. The retina helps you recognize shapes and objects in front of you, while the lens helps you focus on objects at various distances, allowing a sharp image of the object to be formed on the retina.

Zeaxanthin has high antioxidant activity to protect against free radicals and promote the health of the retina and macula. It also absorbs blue light to protect the eye’s photoreceptors and maintain the retinal lining.

You’re born with a certain amount of the nutrient, but levels decline with age. It is not "made" in the human body and to maintain adequate levels, you need to be sure your diet includes foods rich in zeaxanthin. Although there is no recommended daily intake for the carotenoid, most studies show a health benefit from the eye nutrient with a daily intake amount of 2 mg.

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You can find the carotenoid in the highest quantities in orange bell peppers, sweet yellow canned corn, spinach, collard greens, unsweetened orange juice from concentrate, romaine lettuce, and oranges. Marigolds also contain a good amount of the pigment.

The typical Western diet is low in many of these foods, so supplementation has become a popular way to ensure you’re supplying your body with enough of the critical eye nutrient. In 2013, a large vision study indicated that taking 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 10 mg of lutein each day as part of a supplement regimen helped to support eye health and preserve vision.

Additional research has found the combination of these potent antioxidant partners helps promote better glare tolerance, reduces visual stress and supports your macula.

Our Bi-Optium includes the full research dosage of 2mg of zeaxanthin daily, along with lutein and other natural ingredients, to help maintain clear, sharp vision and optimal eye health.