Our body has uncountable functions simultaneously going on behind the scenes to keep us alive, comfortable, and safe. Two of your body parts that are always working for you, 24/7, are your eyes. These small, complex organs, much like the rest of your body, need a variety of different vitamins and nutrients to function well. Your small but mighty eyes are made up of muscles, glands, nerves, fat and tissues that all benefit greatly from the proper nutrition. Here is our guide to the top 5 supplements for excellent ocular health.
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Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation for Eye Health
It’s no surprise to hear that supplementing with vitamins, minerals and fatty acids is good for your overall health, but did you know that proper supplementation can help protect your eyes from many degenerative eye diseases such as:
- Xerophthalmia: a condition that begins with blindness at night and is linked to certain vitamin deficiencies.
- Cataracts: you can lower your risk of this age-related eye condition through proper supplementation.
- Glaucoma: research has found a potential link between Glaucoma and a lack of certain minerals.
- Macular Degeneration: carotenoids, which are a beneficial compound derived from plants, can help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD.
- Dry Eye Disease: certain fatty acids are linked to anti-inflammatory properties and may lower your risk of dry eye.
If you are looking for a reliable, experienced and thorough Dry Eye Clinic, or Macular Degeneration Specialist in SE Calgary, the team at My Optometrist Calgary is here for you.
5 Supplements to Protect Your Vision
Walking through the supplement aisle can be overwhelming. If you are looking for proper vitamins and minerals to conserve your eye health, here are the top picks of our optometry team:
- Vitamins B6, B9 and B12: This combination of vitamins can help to reduce your risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration by lowering inflammation in your body. Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 and can be found in a variety of food such as dark leafy greens, eggs and seafood. Vitamins B6 and B12 can be found in legumes, citrus fruits, meat, poultry, and fish. Supplementing your B vitamins not only benefits your eye health, but also supports brain health and immune function.
- Thiamine: This important nutrient, also known as Vitamin B1, has been linked to a reduction in cataracts by up to 40%. Thiamine also has shown great promise in the early treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) which causes direct damage to the retina. Get lots of Thiamine in your diet by adding in plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
- Vitamin E: Research has proven time and time again the benefits of Vitamin E to your ocular health. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to have a direct positive impact on Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD). And although research has provided mixed reviews in the relation of Vitamin E and the prevention of Age Related Cataracts, most health care providers would say that it wouldn’t hurt to supplement with the proper amounts of vitamin E. Foods rich in this free radical fighting vitamin are salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.
- Vitamin C: Fight many different age related eye diseases by upping your daily dose of Vitamin C. No surprise that vitamin C is great for your body during cold and flu season, but did you know it had many eye health benefits also? Vitamin C supports your body’s production of collagen which provides structure to the eye and can greatly lower your risk of developing cataracts. Other than grabbing an orange, you can find big doses of vitamin C in bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.
- Omega 3s: Omega 3 Fatty Acids form the cells of your eye and have many anti inflammatory properties that have a direct link to you overall health, and consequently, your eye health. These superstars of the nutritional world can help to reduce your risk of Diabetic Retinopathy, and have a positive impact on Dry Eye Disease by helping your body to produce more tears. Get plenty of Omegas in your diet through salmon, seeds such as flax and chia, avocados, nuts, and olive oils.
Luckily for you, choosing the proper supplements is a service our optometry team can assist you with. Leave the overwhelm of the vitamin aisle in the past and have your trusted NE My Optometrist Calgary team member protect your eye health by recommending the nutritional support that is right for you.
As we age, getting all of our daily nutrient requirements can fall to the wayside due to lowered appetites, or trying to balance the busyness of family life. Whatever your reason, supplementing your diet is a great plan for all ages to protect the health of your eyes, and your body as a whole. Connect with your trusted optometrist to help you find the proper supplements to help keep age-related eye disease at bay.
Q: What are the best supplements for overall eye health?
A: In addition to the ones listed above, some excellent vitamins and minerals to support ocular health, and protect against Age-Related Eye Diseases (AREDs) are: Lutein and Zeaxanthin, Zinc, Selenium, and Calcium.
Q: What are the best supplements for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?
A: Taking the proper supplements in the correct doses has been shown to reduce the risk of AMD. Vitamin C, E, Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc Oxide and Copper were used in studies that saw greatly reduced AMD progression.
Q: Can supplementation improve vision?
A: Your eye doctor will be the best person to determine if supplements will be effective to help protect your eye health, but many promising studies have shown direct links to the use of supplements for protecting eyesight.