RELEVATE Benefits Beyond Brain Health

Eye Health


Most major eye diseases are age-related, including glaucoma, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts.1 Eye diseases increase with age because high exposure to light and high metabolism make the eye uniquely susceptible to oxidative damage. A remedy to counter oxidative damage is a diet high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as lutein (and sister molecule zeaxanthin), vitamins E and D, anthocyanins, and omega-3 fatty acids. RELEVATE contains these nutrients with the focus on maintaining brain health, but they also confer benefits in maintaining eye health.

Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents can work in a variety of ways, from directly binding harmful and reactive compounds to directing protective and inflammation-calming processes. Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids in the same family as vitamin A, bind reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and absorb potentially damaging visible light. They are uniquely abundant in the brain and eyes. In mice, lutein has shown drastic effects in suppressing inflammatory pathways to prevent early stages of macular degeneration.2 Importantly, supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin delayed progression for intermediate and late-stage macular degeneration in a large-scale, nationwide clinical study.3 There have also been clinical supplementation studies investigating their effects on cataracts and other age-related eye diseases; in nutritionally deficient communities, lutein has shown significant effects in reducing cataracts.4

Fat-soluble vitamins D and E are well-known for their functions in reducing inflammation and oxidation, respectively;5,6 although unfortunately, deficiency of these key nutrients is very common. Our product contains natural-form and healthy dietary levels of these vitamins in the form of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and both the alpha and gamma forms of tocopherol (two different and non-synthetic forms of vitamin E). From animals to humans, D3 has been shown to inhibit retinal neovascularization, a condition that makes the eye harder to see through, as well as reduce inflammation and pressure inside the eye.5 Both the alpha- and gamma-tocopherol forms of vitamin E are key antioxidants specifically for fats, which make up a significant portion of the eye and are often damaged from high exposure to light.6 Accordingly, healthy intake of these nutrients is associated with lower incidence and severity of eye conditions like dry eye7 and macular degeneration.8

Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) play a key role in reducing oxidative damage and inflammation in the eye.9 Dietary studies indicate a protective effect of fish intake, particularly in the progression of age-related macular degeneration.10 These promising effects are backed by DHA supplementation studies, which indicate that DHA affects key oxidative stress and inflammation markers at play in another eye disease, glaucoma.11

Anthocyanins, a diverse class of antioxidant molecules found abundantly in berries and other colorful foods, also show promise in supporting eye health. In World War II, pilots would consume blueberry jam to improve their dark vision in night flights, a benefit which is greatly attributed to anthocyanins.12 A clinical study that measured people’s vision recovery after exposure to bright light demonstrated faster recovery with supplemental anthocyanins, further supporting anthocyanins’ eye benefits.13

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Cited Research

  1. Aging Eyes: Vision Changes & Common Eye Problems. Available at: (Accessed: 30th September 2020)
  2. Izumi-Nagai, K. et al. Macular pigment lutein is antiinflammatory in preventing choroidal neovascularization. Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 27, 2555–62 (2007).
  3. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Secondary Analyses of the Effects of Lutein/Zeaxanthin on Age-Related Macular Degeneration Progression: AREDS2 Report No. 3. JAMA Ophthalmol. 132, 142–149 (2014).
  4. Sperduto, R. D. et al. The Linxian Cataract Studies: Two Nutrition Intervention Trials. Arch. Ophthalmol. 111, 1246–1253 (1993).
  5. Nebbioso, M., Buomprisco, G., Pascarella, A. & Pescosolido, N. Modulatory effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on eye disorders: A critical review. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 57, 559–565 (2017).
  6. Varma, S. D., Beachy, N. A. & Richards, R. D. PHOTOPEROXIDATION OF LENS LIPIDS: PREVENTION BY VITAMIN E. Photochem. Photobiol. 36, 623–626 (1982).
  7. EduFacts Scientific Write-ups - Vitamin D Deficiency Associated With Dry Eye Signs, Symptoms. Available at: (Accessed: 30th September 2020)
  8. Belda, J. I. et al. Serum vitamin E levels negatively correlate with severity of age- related macular degeneration. Mech. Ageing Dev. 107, 159–164 (1999).
  9. Rasmussen, H. M. & Johnson, E. J. Nutrients for the aging eye. Clin. Interv. Aging 8, 741–748 (2013).
  10. Seddon, J. M., Cote, J. & Rosner, B. Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Association with Dietary Fat, Transunsaturated Fat, Nuts, and Fish Intake. Arch. Ophthalmol. 121, 1728–1737 (2003).
  11. Romeo Villadóniga, S., Rodríguez García, E., Sagastagoia Epelde, O., Álvarez Díaz, M. D. & Domingo Pedrol, J. C. Effects of oral supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plus antioxidants in pseudoexfoliative glaucoma: A 6-Month open-label randomized trial. J. Ophthalmol. 2018, (2018).
  12. Nomi, Y., Iwasaki-Kurashige, K. & Matsumoto, H. Therapeutic effects of anthocyanins for vision and eye health. Molecules 24, (2019).
  13. Kalt, W., McDonald, J. E., Fillmore, S. A. E. & Tremblay, F. Blueberry effects on dark vision and recovery after photobleaching: Placebo-controlled crossover studies. J. Agric. Food Chem. 62, 11180–11189 (2014).