Probiotic may reduce eye fatigue

Blue light is emitted from visual display terminals (VDTs), such as computer monitors and phones. This can fatigue the eye and damage retinal pigment cells responsible for absorbing light.

In part one of this two-part study, doctors in the lab were able to extend the lifespan of light-absorbing retinal pigment cells that had been damaged by blue light from visual display panels by treating them with a lactobacillus probiotic strain.

In part two of the study, 62 healthy men and women, aged 35 to 45, complaining of eye fatigue from VDTs, took a placebo or lactobacillus. After four weeks, compared to placebo, those taking lactobacillus exhibited less eye fatigue from exposure to VDTs. 

Doctors determined eye fatigue by measuring the point at which participants detected the intermittent pulsing, or flicker, of the image on a VDT. Participants taking probiotics detected the flicker at a faster frequency, while those in the placebo group could not until the frequency was very slow, indicating brain and eye fatigue.

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