Blackcurrant extract, lutein and zeaxanthin helped reduce eye fatigue and strain in one new study.
People who visually concentrate for hours at a time may have asthenopia, a condition characterized by weak, tired, achy, itchy, teary, burning eyes and dim vision. Researchers in one study gave 13 participants a supplement containing 200 mg of blackcurrant fruit extract, 5 mg of lutein and 1 mg of zeaxanthin per day or a placebo for two weeks. Everyone completed four, two-hour proofreading tasks on four separate days, designed to produce visual fatigue.
After each session, scientists tested rapid eye movement, electrical activity along visual pathways in the brain, facial muscle movement and heart rate. In the movement tests, participants had to focus and quickly move their eyes back and forth between targets at the center of two checkerboards. The blackcurrant, lutein, zeaxanthin group performed much better in all tests compared to placebo. Researchers concluded that blackcurrant, lutein and zeaxanthin can counteract, prevent and help eyes recover from visual fatigue.