ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hitting a 95 MPH fastball is said to be the hardest thing to do in sports, but a study published today in the scientific journal PLOS ONE proves that a key nutrient can make that fastball seem a little slower. The study by the University of Georgia (UGA) Vision Sciences laboratory measured the impact of high levels of dietary zeaxanthin (20mg and above) on processing speed, or the speed at which a person’s eyes and brain communicate to identify, process and respond to stimuli. The study found that after four months of supplementation with an EyePromise® brand eye health supplement, the group of young, healthy participants experienced statistically significant improvements including a 10 percent improvement in reaction time. The ground-breaking research marks the first time a study has proven the ability to improve visual processing speed through dietary zeaxanthin supplementation in young, healthy adults.
Reaction time is one of the best indicators of visual processing speed because it is the measurable result of the eyes seeing fine detail and contrast better, followed by the brain processing that information and deciding how the body will respond.
“Processing speed is central to many aspects of life—from reading, to reaction time when driving to successful sports performance,” said Dr. Billy Hammond, study author and lead researcher at UGA Vision Sciences laboratory, recognized as one of the premier behavioral and brain sciences laboratories in the world. “The ability to actually change brain function in relatively young, healthy individuals based on a dietary supplement has wide implications for our ability to optimize human performance.”
For an athlete, a 10 percent improvement in reaction time can mean the difference between an average performance and a great performance on the field. According to Pacific University College of Optometry professor Dr. Graham Erickson, a batter has only a fraction of a second to see a pitch leave a pitcher’s hand, send that visual information from the eye to the brain, process the information, make the decision whether to swing or not, and then to physically start the swing. By increasing the speed at which the brain processes information, supplements with high levels of dietary zeaxanthin as a key active ingredient have the power to provide athletes with critical extra milliseconds to see better and react faster.
In the sports industry, every millisecond counts, which is something Walt Horn knows firsthand. Horn is an athletic trainer for the Oakland Athletics, one of the first organizations to take advantage of the potential benefits of dietary zeaxanthin and make it available to its athletes.
In 2012, the Oakland Athletics participated in a trial with EyePromise vizual EDGE PRO™, an eye health supplement that features 26mg of dietary zeaxanthin and 8mg of lutein and is the formula used in the current UGA study. The results of the Oakland Athletics trial mirrored the UGA researchers’ findings. In addition to a measurable improvement in reaction time, the players reported improved ability to pick up on a ball’s rotation and track a baseball out of a pitcher’s hand better.
“As an athletic trainer, I am looking to give our players every edge possible,” said Horn. “If an athlete can see the rotation of the ball better, process what they see faster and improve reaction time as demonstrated in the UGA study, they have a better chance of improving their performance over time.”
The study released today in the PLOS ONE was a double-blind placebo controlled study that measured the effects of dietary zeaxanthin in the form of natural supplements from EyePromise, a brand whose portfolio includes a range of optometrist-recommended, NSF Certified for Sport® eye health vitamins. Dr. Dennis Gierhart, founder of ZeaVision, the company behind EyePromise supplements, is recognized worldwide as the pioneer in dietary zeaxanthin research and the use of dietary zeaxanthin for eye health.
“I have dedicated 20 years to studying dietary zeaxanthin and proving that it is the key nutrient for improving and protecting healthy vision,” said Dr. Gierhart. “The UGA study is breakthrough research not just for athletes, but for all of us who want to perform our best every day.”
Based on the proven efficacy of the ingredients, earlier in 2014 EyePromise introduced an affordable, once-daily softgel formula called EyePromise vizual EDGE™. The patented formula features the highest levels of dietary zeaxanthin (14mg) currently available on the consumer market. For more information, please visit the EyePromise newsroom and EyePromise.com/reactfaster.
To view the full study manuscript, visit PLOS ONE.
About ZeaVision and EyePromise
ZeaVision, the parent company of EyePromise, is passionate about fighting vision loss and preserving healthy vision through ocular nutrition. With more than 20 years of research, ZeaVision pioneered the use of Zeaxanthin, a natural antioxidant and photo-protectant, for eye health use. EyePromise science-based nutraceuticals offer the highest levels of dietary Zeaxanthin available, and are developed for patients suffering from dry eye symptoms and those at risk for AMD. With more than 40-million doctor recommended doses consumed to date, EyePromise products are manufactured in the U.S.A. from the highest-quality, natural ingredients. Stay up-to-date by liking the EyePromise Facebook page or following EyePromise on Twitter. ZeaVision and EyePromise are the respective logos and registered trademarks of ZeaVision Holdings Inc. All rights reserved.