Visionace Plus is a dual pack combining the original Visionace multinutrient tablet formula with high quality Omega-3 capsules containing additional Lutein Esters and Zeaxanthin. Omega-3 fatty acids are a special class of polyunsaturated fatty acids which are essential to human health. They can only be obtained from the diet and are most commonly obtained from plant seed oils, nut oils and oily fish e.g. sardine and salmon. A large number of scientific studies worldwide have highlighted the multiple benefits of dietary Omega-3 fatty acids, in areas as diverse as heart, brain, joint and bone health, The two most researched and arguably the most important Omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Recent research indicates that they may play an important role in maintaining eye health as we age.
DHA and EPA in the retina
Omega-3 fatty acids play an important structural and functional role in the retina. DHA is a constituent of special cells in the retina known as photoreceptors, responsible for converting light into nerve signals. The human retina contains over 120 million photoreceptors some of which are adapted to detect colour (cone cells) and others being adapted for low light (rod cells). Photoreceptors contain the highest concentration of DHA of any cell in the body with DHA accounting for over 50% of the total fatty acid content. Adequate levels of DHA must be maintained in the retina for it to continue to function properly and to maintain good visual acuity (clarity of vision). While DHA has been the focus of most research on eye health EPA also plays an important functional role in the eye and is involved with cell signalling, which supports visibility.
Macular health and ageing
The macula is the central area of the retina (containing the highest density of photoreceptors) which is responsible for detailed, fine vision. The retinal cells of the macular are particularly vulnerable to the effects of UV rays in sunlight and high oxygen tension which can result in cellular damage. Over time this may lead to ageing of the macula.
The beneficial role of antioxidants such as carotenoids is well known however it is now also understood that Omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to antioxidant protection since DHA is a precursor to a protective protein which may help to reduce oxidative stress.
Furthermore, the retinal cells are continually being renewed therefore a constant supply of Omega-3 fatty acids and in particular DHA is required. Since these cannot be made by the body a lack of these in the diet can have a direct effect on levels in the retina. Fortunately increasing dietary intake can help to restore retinal Omega-3 levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are now being recognised as being essential for eye health from before birth right into old age.
The issue of maintaining eye moisture becomes more relevant as we age. It has been observed that Omega-3 fatty acids may help maintain moisture levels by improving the quality and amount of eye secretions.
The importance of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin belong to a class of compounds called carotenoids, naturally occurring antioxidants obtained from plants (e.g. green vegetables) and algae. When consumed, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are incorporated into the retina of the eyes and act as antioxidants “mopping up”, or neutralizing free radicals which can cause cellular damage. Both Visionace tablets and Visionace Plus capsules contain extra Lutemax Lutein esters from marigolds which have excellent bio-availability (are easily absorbed by the body).