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The Most Important Vitamins For Eyes

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Recent research suggests that certain nutrients may be able to delay or prevent vision problems and other diseases. These nutrients are often claimed to be available over-the-counter (OTC), and some other claims have not been proven in clinical trials.

What should you believe? What can you do for your eye health? This information will help you make a decision.

You should consult your doctor first for any information regarding your health. Supplements do not replace medication and are not meant to treat any health problem. Before you begin any dietary supplement, including vision supplements, always consult your doctor.

Multivitamin Vision Supplements

If you have a multivitamin, you should take a look at it before you ask your doctor to prescribe massive amounts of vision supplements. You will likely find that you are already taking the following nutrients to maintain healthy eyes. These nutrients are recommended if you don’t have them. The recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for each food are listed next to them.

Vitamin E

Many eye conditions can be linked to oxidative stress. This is a state in which there is an imbalance between antioxidants, free radicals, and your body’s own defense mechanisms.

Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, helps protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals (harmful, unstable molecules).

A seven-year study of 3,640 AMD patients showed that 400 IU of vitamin E and other nutrients in a daily supplement called AREDS decreased the risk of developing advanced stages of AMD by 25%.

Some studies also suggest that diets high in vitamin E may prevent the development of age-related cataracts. There is more research needed, as there are not many studies that link vitamin E to this condition.

To maintain good eye health, it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, and cooking oils are all good sources of vitamin E. Good sources of vitamin E include salmon, avocado, and leafy green veggies.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for vision. It helps maintain a clear cornea (the outer covering of your eyes).

This vitamin is also part of rhodopsin (a protein found in your eyes that helps you see in low light conditions).

Vitamin A deficiencies are rare in developed countries but can lead to serious conditions like xerophthalmia if left untreated.

Xerophthalmia, a progressive eye disease that begins with night blindness, is called xerophthalmia. Your eyes and tear ducts can dry out if vitamin A deficiency is not treated. Your cornea will eventually become soft, leading to irreversible blindness .

Vitamin A may also be beneficial in preventing other eye conditions. Studies have shown that vitamin A intake may reduce the risk of developing cataracts or other eye conditions. 

Vitamin-A-rich foods can be recommended for general eye health. Sweet potatoes, leafy green veggies, and bell peppers are all excellent sources.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, like vitamin E, is a powerful antioxidant that can protect your eyes from damaging free radicals.

Supplement AREDS contains Vitamin C and other nutrients that may be beneficial to those suffering from AMD. One study found that taking AREDS daily may decrease the chance of this condition worsening by 25%.

Vitamin C is also required to create collagen, a protein that gives structure to your eyes, especially in the cornea.

Numerous observational studies have shown that vitamin C could help reduce your chances of developing cataracts. This is a condition in which your vision becomes cloudy.

One observational study found that a daily intake of vitamin C above 490 mg was associated with a 75% lower risk of developing cataracts.

Another study showed that regular vitamin-C supplements could reduce cataract risk by 45%.

Vitamin C is a great way to increase your daily intake of vitamins. Bell peppers, citrus, and tropical fruits, as well as broccoli and kale, contain high levels of vitamin C.

Vitamins B6, 9 and 12

Researchers also examined the effects of several B vitamins on eye health, including vitamins B6, B9, and B12.

Combining vitamins can lower homocysteine levels, which is a protein found in the body and linked to inflammation and increased risk of developing AMD.

In a clinical study, women showed a 34% lower risk of developing AMD by taking 1,000 mg of vitaminB12 and vitamins B6.

These supplements are worth investigating further. It’s also unclear whether increasing your intake of vitamins-B-rich food would produce similar results.

Niacin

Niacin (vitaminB3) is a vitamin that helps convert food into energy. It also acts as an antioxidant.

Recent studies suggest that niacin could play a role in preventing glaucoma. This is a condition where the optic nerve of the eye is damaged.

An observational study of the nutrient intake of Korean adults and their risk of developing glaucoma was done. It found that there was a link between this condition and a low dietary intake.

A study on animals also showed that high doses of niacin were effective in preventing glaucoma.

More research is needed to determine if niacin can cause glaucoma.

Supplements should not be taken without caution. Consuming niacin in large amounts (1.5-5 grams daily) can cause eye irritations, such as blurred vision and macular damage.

There is no evidence to suggest that eating foods high in niacin can cause adverse reactions. You can find niacin in meat, poultry, seafood, peanuts, and legumes.

Riboflavin

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is another B vitamin that has been studied in relation to eye health. Riboflavin, an antioxidant, has the potential to lower oxidative stress levels in your body, which includes your eyes.

Scientists are focusing on riboflavin’s ability to prevent cataracts. Long-term riboflavin deficiency could lead to the condition. Many people with cataracts are also deficient in this antioxidant .

One study showed that there was a 31% to 51% lower risk of developing cataracts when participants ate 1.6-2.2mg of riboflavin daily, as opposed to.08 mg per person.

According to health authorities, a daily intake of 1.1-1.3% mg of riboflavin is recommended. This amount is easy to attain as there are many foods high in riboflavin. Oats and milk are some examples. Yogurt, beef, and fortified cereals  are also examples.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to the carotenoid group, a family of beneficial compounds that plants synthesize.

These carotenoids are found in the retina and macula of your eyes. They help protect your eyes from harmful blue light.

Numerous studies have shown that these plant compounds can prevent the development of AMD and slow down its progression.

One controlled, randomized study showed the potential benefits of lutein to people suffering from cataracts. Two years later, people who took 15mg of lutein three days a week saw improvements in their vision.

These compounds do not have safe supplemental doses or recommended daily intakes. Studies have shown that lutein can be taken up to 20mg per day for six months .

Supplements may not be required, however. Supplements may not be necessary. A diet high in vegetables and fruits can provide as little as 6 mg of both lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are especially high in cooked spinach, kale, and collard greens .

Thiamine

Thiamine or vitamin B1 plays an important role in cell function and conversion of food into energy.

It may be effective in reducing the risk of cataracts.

A study of 2,900 Australians suggests that a diet high in thiamine can reduce your chances of developing cataracts by up to 40%. The study also suggests that protein, vitamin A and niacin may help prevent cataracts.

Thiamine has also been suggested as a treatment option for the initial stages of DR.

A clinical study showed that 100mg of thiamine, taken three times daily, reduced the amount of albumin in urine – a sign of DR in type II diabetes .

Whole grains and meat are all good sources of thiamine. Thiamine can also be added to food like bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals.

Omega-3 Fatty acids

The type of polyunsaturated fat is called Omega-3 fatty acid. Your retina’s cell membranes contain a high level of DHA , a specific type of omega-3.

Omega-3 fats are good for your eyes and may help prevent diabetic retinopathy (DR).

31 studies were reviewed and found that diets rich in oily fish, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help to prevent DR. These findings are subject to further research, but they suggest that fatty acids could be involved.

Dry eye syndrome patients may benefit from Omega-3 fats, which can help them produce more tears. This condition is caused by a deficiency in tears, which can cause dryness, discomfort, and blurred vision .

Rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids can be added to your diet, such as fish, flaxseed, and chia seeds. Cooking oils like canola or olive oil also contain omega-3s.

The Bottom Line

Research has shown that vitamins and nutrients can help slow down the progression of many eye conditions.

If you think you might be lacking any of these vitamins, supplements may be beneficial.

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats will give you all the nutrients that your eyes and other parts of your body need to be in optimal health.

 

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