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Carotenoid Supplements Speed Up Visual Motor Reaction Times

September 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that increasing the levels of the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin in the bloodstream via supplementation leads to increased visual processing speeds, even in healthy young people.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are major carotenoids in the eye and in post-receptoral visual pathways. Participants were men and women ages 18 – 32 years. A zeaxanthin supplement on its own or in combination with a lutein and omega-3 supplement increased visual motor reaction time by about 10 percent over a placebo. “The fact that we could produce measurable changes in young healthy individuals is promising,” the researchers concluded.
Emily R. Bovier et al., "A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effects of Lutein and Zeaxanthin on Neural Processing Speed and Efficiency", PLOS One, September 24, 2014, © Bovier et al.
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