Irish scientists in groundbreaking study about improving eyesight
A groundbreaking study has taken part in Ireland which could have a huge impact on the quality of our eyesight.
Researchers tested 105 participants over a 12 month period, giving half of them three natural supplements, and half of them placebos. Those who had been given the supplements displayed a significant improvement in the quality of their vision.
The study took place at Carriganore House in Waterford as part of the Waterford Institute of Technology’s science faculty.
It was based around three natural substances, known as macular carotenoids, called lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin.
Of the 105 participants, those that were given daily supplements of the three substances showed an improvement in their eyesight, specifically regarding viewing ‘faint lines’, which means recognising the contrast between objects in order to identify a ‘target’.
One of the lead researchers on the study is Professor John Nolan. He said: “All of us involved in this research are tremendously excited about the outcome – not only from a scientific perspective but also because of the significant benefits it will have for a wide range of people.”
One of the participants was 64-year-old Anne Cullen. She had worn glasses since the age of 23 but has been able to ditch them since she has began taking a high street supplement which also contains the three key carotenoids.
She said: “It’s absolutely amazing. I don’t wear them [glasses] at all for any reason, it’s just fantastic. I wouldn’t be without it to be honest. You have to understand I didn’t know what I was taking until the end of the trial. It deserves to be better known because if people only realised.”
Waterford hurler Noel Connors was another participant, although he was discounted as a test subject because his vision was already ‘too good’ for the purposes of the study.
However, he was still very positive about the results: “When you look at the likes of baseball, or hurling – sports where you can barely see the ball, the benefits really are there.”
The study was the first of its kind but the one year results produced a concrete basis for further studies to take part. The findings have now been published in the international journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.