Will Eye Vitamins Help Your Vision?

You see them all over drugstores — special vitamins and
supplements that claim to improve vision and even prevent blindness.
They might sound like a good idea, but, as CBS 2′s Kristine
Johnson in New York reported, doctors say it’s hard to know if the vitamins and
supplements do what they claim.
“At the moment, we don’t have the evidence that everybody
should take them,” said Dr. Penny Asbell, an ophthalmologist at Mount Sinai
Hospital in New York.
Asbell said the vitamins and supplements may not harm eyes,
but so far there has been no documented studies claiming they improve vision or
eye health.
Doctors, however, are certain that a specific combination of
vitamins can slow down the progression of macular degeneration, a disease that
causes 8 million Americans a year to go blind. The vitamins include vitamin C,
vitamin E, zinc and beta carotene.
“The vitamins are going to be very good for those who
already have macular changes or retinal changes that are leading to macular
degeneration,” Asbell said.
As for other supplements such as turmeric and selenium —
which people have long believed help the eyes — Dr. David Rubaltelli, an
ophthalmologist at New York’s Montefiore Medical Center, said the science does
not back that up. “Nothing that we know has been proven using a clinical
trial,” he said.
Rubaltelli said the best way people can take care of their
eyes is to simply take care of their body first.
“If you’re eating a diet that’s healthy for you and for your
system in general, then I think that you’re doing your eyes a service,” he
The Doctors say fruits and vegetables that are rich in color
contain nutrients that are good for your eye health. Eat more leafy greens. They
contain lutein and zeaxanthin — nutrients that studies have shown help reduce
the risk of chronic eye disease, such as cataracts and age-related macular
degeneration. Kale is the best source; turnip greens, collards and spinach are
also good options. Foods rich in vitamin C (such as citrus fruits and
broccoli), vitamin E (nuts and vegetable oils), omega-3 fatty acids (salmon and
tuna) and zinc (beef and legumes) also help keep your eyes healthy, according
to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Carrots contain vitamin A,
which can help improve night vision, but more so in people who are deficient in
that vitamin — something that’s pretty rare in American diets.
June 23, 2014 | Posted by G. Thorpe
The Doctors 9:47 a.m. EDT July 2, 2014


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