Apple Pie, Baseball and Macular Pigments

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that dietary supplements of the macular pigments lutein and zeaxanthin can improve a ball player’s performance through reduced glare discomfort, shortened photostress recovery times, enhanced chromatic contrast and increased visual range.

In baseball, a small edge can make all the difference. Baseball players tend to have better visual acuity than the general population, but visual performance varies among individual athletes.

The study found that the blue haze and scattered sunlight that reduces a ball player’s visual range peaks at around 460 nm, within the absorbance band of yellow-blue macular pigment. The visual carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which concentrate within the fovea, can act as a tinted filter allowing for sharper contrast between the ball and the blue sky.

If a baseball player’s diet is deficient in macular pigments, increasing the dietary intake could result in a significant performance boost, as well as protecting their eyes from damaging blue light.

Thanks for a great season to the Toronto Blue Jays!  #ComeTogether

Further information: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/96/5/1207S.full

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