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Posted on 05-03-2016

Should You Take Special Vitamins For Your Eyes?

Eating a healthy diet should provide the vitamins and minerals needed for eye health, but most people have nutritional gaps that deprive their eyes of needed nourishment. To combat this, many eye doctors suggest that patients take a multivitamin or even add supplements of specific vitamins to their daily regime. What particular supplements will aid eye health?

What Constitutes a Healthy Diet?

A healthy diet follows the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

  • It is heavy on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat for your low-fat milk and milk products.
  • It includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts.
  • It is low in added sugars, saturated fats, transplants, cholesterol, and salt.

Even those who take these recommendations seriously may eat too many foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients. To combat this, some take a multivitamin to combat deficiencies. A good multivitamin should contain the recommended values based on studies done by the National Eye Institute, which conducted the first Age Related I Disease Study (AREDS) in 2001 and a follow-up in 2013, known as AREDS2.

Eye Research and Supplements

The goal in both cases was to see what influenced the development of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

The first AREDS study suggested that patients with intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye could reduce vision loss with high doses of antioxidants, such as Vitamin C (500 mg), Vitamin E (400 IU), beta-carotene (15 mg/25,000 IU), and zinc (8 MG).

The follow-up study added omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids found in leafy green vegetables and highly colored fruits and vegetables. The conclusion was that these new carotenoids were more effective than beta-carotene in eye health, while the omega-3 fatty acids had little impact on AMD.

What Vitamins do

Specific vitamins play a particular role in reducing the likelihood that you will develop particular eye conditions:

  • Improving immune system: Vitamin A and beta-carotene
  • Reducing chronic inflammation: Vitamin B complex
  • Reducing risk of macular degeneration: Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D, lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Treating uveitis, which causes blindness: Vitamin B complex
  • Reducing cataracts risk: Vitamin C, vitamin E
  • Reducing oxidative stress: Phytochemical antioxidants, Vitamin C
  • Reducing dry eye: Omega-3 essential fatty acids

In order to get the proper supplement of these vitamins, taking a multivitamin to supplement your diet can help. Before buying, you should read the label to make sure that whatever you take contains at least the following levels of specific ingredients:

  • Vitamin C, 500 mg
  • Vitamin E, 400 mg
  • Beta-carotene, 15 mg
  • Zinc, 80 mg
  • Zeaxanthin, 20 mg
  • Selenium, 100 mcg
  • Lutein, 10 mg
  • Calcium, 500 mg
  • Thiamin, 2 mg
  • Folic acid, 800 mcg
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids (including flaxseed oil), 2,000-3,000 mg
  • N-acetyl cysteine, 100 mg
  • Alpha lipoic acid, 100 mg

Eye Site Texas Offers Supplements

To meet your particular needs, your eye doctor at Eye Site Texas might suggest that you take supplements with more concentrated amounts of certain nutrients. For your convenience, you can order whatever you need online from our Vision Support Center. Before starting on a course of supplements, make sure to schedule an appointment to chat with your doctor and confirm what you need.

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