Which Vitamins and Minerals are Needed for Good Eyesight

Eyesight
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The scientific evidence says there are specific antioxidants and minerals that slow the progression in a large percentage of people who are at “high risk” for macular degeneration. Otherwise, all suggestions for vitamins are anecdotal. Certain vitamins and minerals found in food may play a role in preventing two common causes of vision problems: cataracts—cloudy areas in the lens of the eye—and age related macular degeneration (AMD)—a condition that causes vision loss in the macula, the part of the eye that controls central vision.

It is certainly true that vitamin deficiencies can have a negative effect on vision. So it is probably a good idea to take a regular multivitamin on a daily basis if you think you don’t get full nutrition through your diet. Some evidence shows that dietary antioxidant vitamins and minerals (A, C, and E, and the mineral zinc) may help prevent the progression of macular degeneration. “The retina, especially the macula, is thought to be an environment of high oxidative stress, meaning that there is an abundance of free radicals—molecules that damage proteins and DNA within cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals and are thought to help protect the retina from this damage.

Dietary intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) may be important to retinal health. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and there is evidence to suggest that inflammation plays a role in AMD.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in most fruits and vegetables, especially yellow and orange varieties and leafy greens. Egg yolks are an even richer source of these nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish, flaxseed, and walnuts. Good sources of zinc include red meat and shellfish. You’ll find vitamins A, C, and E in many vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

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