Vitamins for Healthy Eyes
Eye vitamins can help maintain eye health and protect our eyes against several different diseases, including those that most frequently affect aging eyes, including macular degeneration.
Experts disagree on which nutrients can prevent eye disease or reduce vision loss. Studies have been conducted to help us learn more about the relationship between vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and eye health. The general consensus is that the same things that are good for your body are good for your eyes: a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, drinking at least six glasses of water a day, regular exercise, and avoidance of cigarette smoke.
Much of the research that has already been conducted points to the benefits of vitamins and antioxidants, specifically beta carotene, vitamins D, E, A and C, zinc, selenium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese and lutein. The National Eye Institute's Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that about one-fifth of patients with intermediate and advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were able to reduce their risk of vision loss after taking high levels of zinc and antioxidants. The study did not find a correlation between these nutrients and the development of cataracts.
Patients taking the anticoagulant medication such as warfarin or Coumadin should consult their doctors before increasing the amount of leafy greens they eat.
- National Institutes of Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine