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  • Writer's pictureJantz Chappel

What nutrients/foods are good for the eye

Updated: May 30, 2023

We all hear carrots are good for the eyes but that is more of a myth than true. It has a large amount of vitamin A and vitamin A is important to the eyes but a lot of food contains vitamin A and carrots aren't anything special when it comes to the eyes compared to similar foods. The truth is that story is from the British air force told to Nazi Germany in World War 2 to explain why their plots could easily spot and shoot down the nazi bombers. The British were spreading this lie to help hide the fact that they had developed radar systems to help detect the nazi bomber aircraft. So the major story we all know really doesn't have any truth when it comes to nutrients and the eyes.

What foods are good for the eyes? The 1st one is more for dry eye and that is omega 3. Food high in omega 3 are normally fatty fish like salmon but so are oysters and caviar. The other foods that are not animal-based are flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. These work on meibomian glands and is a major player in the oil/lipid layer of your tears and dysfunction of these glands is a major cause of dry eye. That is why we do a scan of those glands on everyone 18 years or older due to about 70% of those glands have to die before major dry eye issues can occur. Omega 3 is also good for other parts of the body including blood clots, bone health, the heart, the thyroid, and many more!

Example of healthy meibomian glands and severe gland loss

The other major nutrient for the eye is lutein and zeaxanthin. This has been shown to help with macular degeneration. This has shown a decreased chance of patients with moderate macular degeneration transforming into wet/severe macular degeneration. It decreases the risk by 30%, which is huge! There haven't been any studies published yet about the effects of it helping decrease developing macular degeneration or to slow down mild to moderate macular degeneration. Some of that is due to the study size and length of the study makes it hard to determine, especially for nutrients. I keep hearing from doctors who specialize in the field of macular degeneration recommending lutein and zeaxanthin to people with just with risk factors of macular degeneration and so I continue that trend. Lutein and zeaxanthin is a pigment that makes your macula/fovea (the area that sees 20/20) darker in the retinal photos. So it supposes to fortify your macula to help stop/decrease the damage from macular degeneration is the main theory. There is a new way to increase the absorption of Lutein and zeaxanthin that is with OCUSorb but it is too new to know if it is marketing or will truly help, but in theory it should help but unproven yet. The foods that have Lutein and zeaxanthin are green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and lettuce, It is also in egg yolks. The last thing on lutein and zeaxanthin in one study showed that taking lutein and zeaxanthin for 3 months has shown to decrease light sensitivity. Those are two major different nutritional compounds that are more specific for the eye that not in a normal multivitamin. The eyes do need things that are in a normal multivitamin but need it in less significant amounts compared to the rest of your body.

example of the fovea and optic nerve

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