The ocular lens, macula and retina are continually exposed to oxygen and intense light radiation. Both light and oxygen can create free radicals that damage the membranes of visual cells. Oxidative stress, diet, aging, and smoking can lead to suboptimal eye function and contribute to age-related vision loss. Therefore, ocular tissues rely on a strong antioxidant defense system to protect them from free radical damage. Adequate antioxidant intake is essential in supporting the macula, and recent studies have shown the critical protective role that nutritional supplements play in maintaining healthy vision and eye protection. Therefore, ocular tissues rely on a strong antioxidant defense system to protect them from free radical damage. Lutein may be especially important in preserving and maintaining healthy eyes, especially as we age. Lutein is a nutritionally important carotenoid that occurs in selected, often brightly colored vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and corn. A typical US diet contains 1Œ3 mg/day of lutein, but research recommends at least 10 mg/day. Lutein is an efficient quencher of free radicals in the body, and research has shown that it™s a predominant pigment found in the macula. ƒ Additionally, lutein is especially concentrated in the rods, which are those visual cells of the retina that are responsible for black and white vision in the dark. Scientific evidence clearly suggests that lutein’s role in the retina is to protect the tissue from the damaging effects of high-energy blue spectrum light and oxygen to which the eyes are subjected more than any other tissue in the body. Both light and oxygen can create free radicals that can play havoc with the highly unsaturated lipids present in the membranes of the visual cells. The uncontrolled generation of free radicals in the eyes is believed to ultimately lead to suboptimal eye function.
Zinc is essential for normal visual signal transduction in the retina. Zinc is part of many of the enzymes involved in vitamin A-dependent light reactions in the rod cells. Moreover, zinc is an essential cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme that removes potentially dangerous superoxide radicals in the visual cells, the lens, and other tissues. OcuTone® provides 6 mg of zinc in the highly bioavailable monomethionine form. Selenium is the essential cofactor of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is abundant in healthy eyes. Glutathione peroxidase levels, however, decline during the normal aging process, and experts believe that adequate selenium nutrition can help maintain normal production of this important enzyme. OcuTone® provides 50 mcg of Selenium, which is roughly equivalent to the required daily amount. Glutathione is the essential co-substrate for glutathione peroxidase. To carry out its antioxidant functions, this enzyme requires a steady supply of glutathione. In addition, glutathione by itself protects the proteins in the lens from becoming insoluble and cloudy. Although well absorbed, dietary glutathione cannot enter the cell, and exerts much of its beneficial antioxidant effects in the extracellular space. N-Acetyl-L Cysteine (NAC) easily enters the cell and is used to synthesize intracellular glutathione. NAC also appears to have antioxidant properties. Many studies have shown that ocular glutathione levels decline during the normal aging process. Dietary supplementation with both glutathione and NAC may help maintain normal extracellular and intracellular glutathione levels. Therefore, OcuTone® combines a significant 50 mg of glutathione with 300 mg of NAC.