Many dietary supplements are available, but only a few have formulas that have proven to decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. Understanding the impact of eye vitamins can help you decide what is best for your eyes.
Studies have shown that certain nutrients, including vitamins C, E, zinc, and copper, can help prevent or slow macular degeneration. In addition, lutein and zeaxanthin can help decrease the risk of vision loss.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help build and maintain healthy cells, including those in your eyes and brain. They include eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found in fish. EPA and DHA also help keep the cells in your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and immune system functioning correctly.
An increased dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids may aid in preventing macular degeneration. They are mainly found in fish, although plant oils and nuts contain them.
These acids are essential for eye health, especially for your retina, which is the tissue that helps you see the world. They are also crucial for your immune system and sperm cell development.
There are a few omega-3 fatty acids, but the two most important are EPA and DHA. You can get them by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids or taking supplements.
They are also helpful for treating dry eye when the fluid inside your eyes doesn’t drain properly and can lead to inflammation. In one study, feeding rats a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids for a week helped regulate fluid flow around the eye and reduced the signs of dry eye.
However, no good studies show whether omega-3 supplements can slow the progress of macular degeneration. Nevertheless, these eye vitamins for macular degeneration are essential in keeping your eyesight healthy.
The body requires water-soluble vitamin C for a variety of processes. For instance, building and repairing tissues like blood vessels, neurons, bones, and teeth is essential. It also aids the body’s assimilation of nonheme sources of iron.
Healthy people need to get enough vitamin C from foods. Still, for those at risk of developing a deficiency (such as those with a genetic mutation that prevents the body from converting vitamin C into its active form), it is often beneficial to take supplements. However, high doses of oral vitamin C can cause side effects in some people.
Nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, and gastrointestinal bleeding are a few of these adverse effects. In addition, some people who take high-dose oral vitamin C for extended periods may develop kidney stones.
Vitamin C also has the vital role of reducing inflammation and guarding the body against oxidative stress and free radical damage. It does this by scavenging ROS and blocking the production of proinflammatory leukocyte-derived cytokines. It can be helpful in people who have been diagnosed with inflammatory conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
According to studies, age-related macular degeneration can be slowed down with dietary supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and zinc.
It is especially true for people at high risk of developing the disease, such as those with a family history of the disease or who have had a retinal tear.
Antioxidant vitamin E shields your body’s cells from dangerous chemicals like free radicals. A buildup of free radicals is linked with diseases like heart disease and cancer.
A diet that includes foods rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants may aid in reducing your risk of these diseases. These include vegetables (greens), nuts, seeds, and whole grains. In addition to these dietary sources, supplements are available.
In one study of people with a high risk for advanced macular degeneration, a supplement containing large doses of vitamin E and other antioxidants helped slow down the progression of the disease. However, additional study is required to know whether these supplements’ effects are potent enough to stop cataracts and age-related macular degeneration in general.
Despite these promising results, getting most of your nutrients from food sources is essential to ensure healthy body function. A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement are recommended as part of a balanced diet.
A supplemental dose of up to 400 IU of a-tocopherol daily will not likely cause long-term adverse effects in most healthy adults. However, individuals who are vitamin K-deficient and those on anticoagulant drugs like warfarin should not take a vitamin E supplement without medical supervision because of an increased risk of bleeding.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in your vision. It helps your retinas make specific pigments that enable you to see at night and keep your corneas lubricated so they don’t dry out or become brittle.
You get vitamin A from food sources, mainly from carotenoids like a-carotene, b-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. You can also get vitamin A by taking supplements.
Several studies have shown that people who consume high-vitamin A diets are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and have more stable eyesight. The results are encouraging, and they suggest that increasing vitamin A intake may be one of the best ways to protect your eyes from macular degeneration.
It is important to note that while vitamins A and C reduce the risk of AMD, they don’t prevent it entirely.
The most effective way to prevent vitamin A deficiency is to eat a balanced diet and take a daily multivitamin supplement. These can contain retinol (the main form of vitamin A), carotenoids, and other antioxidants.
Several systematic reviews have shown that the intake of nutrients such as vitamin A and zinc can decrease the risk of developing AMD. However, some conflicting results need further investigation.