Human health depends largely on whether the body has enough of certain vitamins and trace elements. This also applies to vision. There are vitamins and trace elements that have a positive effect on the eyes. If the diet is unbalanced, the body can lack certain nutrients, in which case there are problems with vision.
However, it should be understood that vitamins for vision cannot "cure" myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. These disorders are associated with the irregular shape of the eyeball and the refractive properties of the eye, and it is impossible to correct this by taking any vitamins or supplements. However it is worth taking vitamins if you have any questions:
- How to normalize the eyes;
- How to slow down the age-related changes in the retina;
- How to nourish the retina in the presence of retinal dystrophy, which can occur with a high degree of myopia.
Most vitamins are not synthesized in the body. This means that useful substances must come from outside, with food. But first, a person may not eat certain foods, simply because he does not like them.
Secondly, there are seasonal products that periodically disappear from store shelves or significantly more expensive, while vitamins are needed all year round. That's why it is recommended to use a variety of vitamin complexes and supplements that make up for the lack of substances that the body needs. But to avoid possible problems, you should always consult a specialist before starting a course!
What vitamins are good for the eyes
Vitamin A, or retinol, strengthens the cornea of the eye and has a positive effect on visual acuity. If the body lacks it, there are problems with the synthesis of the visual pigment rhodopsin, there is the so-called night blindness – the inability to see objects clearly at dusk or in the dark. Color vision may also be impaired. Vitamin A is found in blueberries, carrots, grapefruit, beef and pork liver, and fish oil. Its daily allowance for an adult is 1.5 mg.
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is responsible for the smooth transmission of nerve impulses between the visual system and the brain, and helps normalize intraocular pressure. It is found in whole wheat bread, soybeans, peas, spinach, and pork and beef kidneys and liver. An adult man needs 1.2 to 2.1 mg of thiamine a day, and a woman 1.1 to 1.5 mg.
Vitamin B2 is an excellent vitamin for vision; it improves blood circulation in the vessels of the eye. It also has a positive effect on color vision and night vision. An important source of this substance is sunflower seeds, it is also found in green vegetables and eggs. An adult requires 1.5 to 3 mg per day.
Vitamin B6, or cyanocobalamin, ensures normal blood circulation in the eyes and stable functioning of nerve fibers. Sources of cyanocobalamin include eggs, liver, and fish. A person's daily requirement for it is about 4 mg.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is responsible for blood flow to the eyes and provides additional protection from ultraviolet radiation. It is an antioxidant, and it makes your eyes suffer less from oxidative stress. Vitamin C is found in blueberries, rose hips, carrots, many other berries, fruits and vegetables, and beef. An adult male requires up to 90 mg of this vitamin per day and a woman up to 75 mg.
Vitamin E, like vitamin C, protects the eyes from oxidative stress. It increases capillary elasticity and improves capillary permeability. It is found in carrots, sea buckthorn, spinach, broccoli, eggs, liver, vegetable and butter. The daily requirement of the body is: for an adult man – 10 mg, for a woman – 8 mg.
Among the beneficial substances for the eyes should also be noted:
- Beta-carotene – it has an antioxidant effect and is comparable in effectiveness to vitamin A, while, unlike ascorbic acid, it has no toxic effects on the body when taken in high doses.
- Beta-carotene is found in carrots, pumpkins, melons, apricots, blueberries, tomatoes and many other fruits, vegetables and berries, especially the yellow and orange;
- Lutein – fights age-related changes in the retina and helps prevent clouding of the lens; sources of lutein include spinach, parsley, peas, pumpkin;
- Zinc is an antioxidant and improves the absorption of vitamin A; it is found in wheat bran, beans, potatoes, nuts, red meat;
- Selenium – also has antioxidant properties and may slow age-related retinal degradation; its sources are sunflower seeds, pink salmon, tuna, chicken eggs, cottage cheese, beans;
- Anthocyanins – substances good for vision, contained primarily in blueberries and black currants, have many useful functions: act as antioxidants, strengthen the walls of the blood vessels of the retina, contribute to improving vision at night;
- Flavonoids – these substances strengthen blood vessels and have a positive effect on the collagen fibers in the cornea, and they are contained in dark chocolate, in which the cocoa content is not less than 75%;
- Polyunsaturated fats and fatty acids, the source of which are tuna, salmon and other kinds of fish, as well as cod liver, have good antioxidant properties.
The body needs a variety of vitamins for vision and other useful substances that are contained in many products. It's not always possible to balance your menu in such a way that you get everything your eyes need. In addition, other organs also need certain nutrients in order to work properly. So it makes sense to pay attention to specially selected vitamin complexes.
Hypervitaminosis is an excess of a particular vitamin in the body. In some cases, the excess consumption of a certain substance will not affect your health. But there are eye vitamins whose overdose can be dangerous. An example of this is retinol or vitamin A. If your body takes significantly more of it than it needs, there can be consequences such as:
- Impaired absorption of vitamin B12;
- Kidney stone formation;
- Increased irritability;
- Dry skin.
Therefore, vitamin A can be replaced with beta-carotene, which even with excessive consumption does not cause adverse effects. The main side effect of excess beta-carotene in the body is a change in the color of the skin, especially on the palms of the hands and soles. The skin turns yellow, but this effect is temporary and quickly passes.
How to choose vitamins for vision
Vitamins and supplements are not considered medicines, so you can buy them at the pharmacy without a prescription from a doctor. But it is still worth to see an ophthalmologist and get a consultation from him. It is necessary in order to:
- Choose the most effective option;
- Avoid the risk of hypervitaminosis.
It also matters your lifestyle, and the state of your body as a whole. For example, not all vitamins can be used during pregnancy. And for children, most often special complexes are developed, taking into account the age norms of the need for vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins that improve vision are necessary in the first place for people over the age of 40. They can slow down the age-related changes in the structures of the eye. It is also worth taking them for people with certain diseases – hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes. These diseases entail an increased risk of impaired blood flow to the eyes. But vitamins will be useful to anyone who wants to normalize the work of the organs of vision.
Most vitamin complexes, biologically active supplements and other similar non-drugs that have a positive effect on the eyes can be divided into three main groups:
- Carotenoid-based – contain primarily beta-carotene and/or lutein;
- Universal – they contain both carotenoids and anthocyanins.
However, other substances, vitamins and trace elements are also needed for normal eye function. They also may be included in one or another complex.
Choosing the right product, pay attention not only to its cost. The first thing that should be carefully studied is the composition. Look not only at vitamins and other substances contained in a particular complex, but also at their percentage.
Often manufacturers include in the composition of their products a large number of auxiliary components, which have no effect on vision. You should also find out if any studies have been done on the vitamins that caught your eye. Usually there is information about the studies and their confirmed effectiveness and safety in the instructions.
In addition, the instructions necessarily indicate contraindications and possible side effects. From the instructions you will also learn how and at what intervals it is recommended to take the vitamins.
Vitamins are available in different forms. These can be:
- Solutions – they are produced for those who for some reason cannot swallow tablets and capsules, and are most often intended for children.
It is quite convenient to use tablets for vision and capsules: most manufacturers have a dosage of 1 pc. per day. If you need vitamins for a child, be sure to read the instructions to clarify the age at which you can take a particular complex or dietary supplement.
It is important to remember that vitamins for vision alone do not cure any diseases and do not correct myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. They can help normalize eye function and slow down age-related changes. This means that there is no point in taking them in large quantities, especially since in this case there is a risk of hypervitaminosis.
Do not forget that fresh products for the eyes tastes better than a variety of extracts. Therefore, if you have a choice between fresh blueberries and a vitamin complex based on blueberry extract, you should prefer the berry. And it is better to make your diet balanced, to add more healthy foods to your daily menu, and to take vitamins when the body really needs to make up for any lack of substances.