Eye vitamins are supplements and minerals that help build and maintain various parts of the eye, supporting clear vision. They can also prevent many age-related changes to vision, as well as reduce the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
Studies have shown that vitamin E and B vitamins can prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration. They can also fight free radicals, lowering levels of inflammation.
Vitamin A is crucial for eye health, and low levels of it can lead to a rare condition called xerophthalmia, where the cornea softens, causing blindness. Other vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin, can reduce the risk of getting cataracts and glaucoma.
There are few safety risks associated with eye vitamin use. However, some eye vitamins can be dangerous when consumed in large amounts, as they are fat soluble and build up in the body. Over time, this vitamin build up can be toxic to cells and impact the health of various organ systems.
1Eye vitamins with vitamin help maintain cornea health. The cornea is the transparent outer covering of the eye. It’s responsible for refracting light and is important for focusing vision.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining a clear cornea, ensuring that images are focused (1).
Vitamin A deficiency is rare, but it can lead to a condition called xerophthalmia. This condition can cause night blindness, as well as dry eyes and tear ducts. If xerophthalmia is not treated, it causes the corneas to soften, leading to total blindness (2).
2Eye vitamins with riboflavin can reduce the risk of cataracts. Cataracts are an eye condition that is often seen as people age. The condition is caused by proteins that build up in the lens of the eyes, leading to clouding. Over time, this clouding can become severe enough that it causes blindness.
Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. It’s also important for eye health,
A study found that diets rich in riboflavin significantly reduce the risk of developing cataracts. Participants who had a diet of around 1.5 mg of riboflavin had around a 50% lower chance of getting cataracts than people consuming 0.8 mg per day (3).
The exact role of riboflavin in eye health is still not fully understand. Researchers have only studied how riboflavin can prevent cataracts, and little is known about how it might work as a treatment.
3Eye vitamins with vitamin E protects eyes from free radicals. Research has shown that antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting the eyes. Many eye conditions are caused by excess free radicals, which damage cells and can impair vision.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, helping protect the body from free radicals and slow aging.
Studies looking at the role of vitamin E in eye health found that diets high in the vitamin slowed the development of cataracts (4).
Vitamin E may also help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a condition where the retina deteriorates, leading to progressive blindness. Patients who were given 400 IU of vitamin E daily had a slower progression of macular degeneration (5).
Vitamin E can be found in many common foods, such as nuts, salmon, avocado, and leafy greens.
4Eye vitamins with B vitamins prevent macular degeneration. B vitamins are a range of nutrients that are important for a healthy metabolism. Additionally, they play a role in maintaining healthy vision, preventing inflammation by fighting free radicals.
B vitamins can lower levels of homocysteine, a protein that can negatively impact eye health by causing inflammation (6)
One study found that daily supplementation with 1000 mg of B vitamins significantly reduced the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (7).
B vitamins are also very safe, as excess amounts are excreted with water. They can be found in foods such as red meat, legumes, and nuts. However, high doses are often needed for therapeutic effects, so you should consider adding a B vitamin supplement to your diet.
5Eye vitamins with niacin can reduce the risk of developing glaucoma. Glaucoma is a condition where there is an increased pressure build up behind the eye. This pressure can push on the optic nerve, causing disturbances in vision. If left untreated, it can severely damage the optic nerve and lead to partial blindness.
Research has shown that niacin, also known as vitamin B3, can reduce the risk of getting glaucoma. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory, which may explain why it can reduce pressure in the eye.
One study found that people with a diet low in niacin had a significantly higher chance of developing glaucoma (8).
Other studies conducted in animals have shown that administration of high doses of niacin can help prevent glaucoma (9).
It’s still not known if niacin is only useful for preventing glaucoma, or if it might actually help treat the condition. Therefore, niacin should not be used as a primary treatment option for glaucoma.
6Eye vitamins with thiamine can treat some cases of diabetic retinopathy. Thiamine, known as vitamin B1, is another vitamin that plays a central role in energy production. It’s also involved in eye health and has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.
Research has indicated that diets rich in thiamine can help prevent the development of cataracts. One study found that a diet rich in thiamin reduced the rate of cataracts by nearly 50% (10).
It may also be an effective treatment for some cases of diabetic retinopathy, a condition where the retina is damaged by broken blood vessels, causing impaired vision. Patients who were given 300 mg of thiamine per day, divided into three doses, showed fewer signs of diabetic retinopathy (11).
7Eye vitamins with omega 3 fatty acids keep the retina healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids are not classified as a vitamin. However, they are a key nutrient for maintaining eye health.
The cells in the retina contain large amounts of DHA, one of the main types of omega 3 fatty acids. It’s believed that these fats are crucial for building and maintaining healthy retinas.
Omega 3 fatty acids may also protect the eyes from a condition called diabetic neuropathy. This is a condition where the retina is damaged due to swelling from burst blood vessels.
A study found that diets rich in omega 3 fatty acids were associated with significantly lower rates of diabetic neuropathy (12).
Researchers still do not know if omega 3 fatty acids directly prevent diabetic neuropathy, and there is little evidence that they are effective as a treatment for the condition.
8Eye vitamins with zinc can improve night vision and prevent cataracts. Zinc is a mineral that is important for healthy vision, delivering vitamin A to the retina to produce melanin, a pigment that protects the retina.
Low levels of zinc have been associated with conditions such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, as well as impaired night vision (13).
Zinc has been shown to slow the progression of macular degeneration, as well as reduce vision impairment from the condition when taken at doses of between 40 and 80 mg per day (14).
Although zinc may help certain cases of macular degeneration, it cannot cure the condition, and should not be used as a replacement for standard treatment options.
9Eye vitamins with lutein can decrease the risk of macular degeneration. Lutein is a molecule found in many leafy vegetables and in yellow carrots. It has strong antioxidant properties, and it may also be able to benefit eye health.
Studies have shown that lutein reduces the risk of developing macular degeneration, helping to protect vision during aging (15).
Lutein may also lower the chances of developing cataracts. Studies showed that lutein, when taken with zeaxanthin, reduced rates of cataract surgery by 33% (16).
Observational studies suggest that this vitamin may protect against cataracts and help prevent the progression of AMD. One observational study showed a 75% reduced risk of developing cataracts when the daily vitamin C intake was above 490 mg, compared to 125 mg or less (18).
Another study found that regular vitamin C supplements may reduce the risk of cataracts by 45% (19).
11Eye vitamins with vitamin K may help reduce eye bags. A 2009 double-blind, split-face study showed that the application of 2% phylloquinone epoxide to persons undergoing laser therapy (due to bilateral facial telangiectasia) was effective in reducing reddening of the skin over 10 days or so. (20).
12Eye vitamins with astaxanthin can help with overall eye health and inflammation. Astaxanthin is an aquatic carotenoid like fucoxanthin, but is the red pigment in salmon and krill. It is more stable than other carotenoids like lutein, and some human evidence suggests it to be a better carotenoid than the more researched lutein and zeaxanthin.
A 2012 study showed that 14mg of astaxanthin daily for a period of four weeks appeared to increase blood flow to the eyes (choroidal blood flow velocity) without affecting mean arterial pressure nor intraocular pressure (21).
1 Eye vitamins can build up in the body’s fat cells causing overdose. Many eye vitamins such as B vitamins, are not stored in the body. Any excess amounts are excreted with water, so these vitamins have few side effects when taken at high doses (22)
However, there are vitamins that get stored in the body’s fat cells. These fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, can be dangerous when consumed at high doses for prolonged periods. Vitamin A toxicity can cause headaches, confusion, blurred vision, joint pain, and liver damage. If left untreated, it can be fatal in rare cases (23).
2Eye vitamins can deplete the body’s copper stores. If you are taking zinc in your eye vitamins, make sure that you supplement with copper. Zinc can quickly deplete your body’s copper stores, leading to fatigue and weakness.
3Most eye vitamins are safe for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding. However, you should still speak to your doctor when taking eye vitamins, as high doses might not be recommended.
4If you already eat a diet rich in foods such as nuts, avocados, leafy greens and vegetables, and carrots, you should avoid eye vitamin supplements. You could be at risk of building up excess levels of fat-soluble vitamins.
5You should also be careful when taking eye vitamin supplements alongside multivitamins. They often contain many of the same vitamins, leading to excess levels of fat-soluble vitamins. Although this won’t be dangerous in the short term, it can cause health problems if high vitamin levels are maintained for prolonged periods.
The doses used to support eye health may vary from the standard recommended daily amounts.
One study gave participants 400 IU of vitamin E to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
Other studies have used 1000 mg of B vitamins to support eye health. There are many different B vitamins, and the exact blend varies widely depending on the study.
When taking zinc for eye health, you should add a small dose of copper. Zinc depletes copper reserves in the body, which can cause tiredness and weakness.
For general health, 250mg of combined EPA and DHA is the minimum dose and can be obtained via fish intake.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 100-200mg which can be attained pretty easily in one’s daily diet. Most studies on vitamin C prescribe one dose per day.
Astaxanthin appears to be recommended in the dosage range of 6-8mg daily, which is low enough that an enriched salmon oil or krill oil supplement may contain adequate levels. Doses of up to 20-50mg astaxanthin have been tolerated, although the exact toxicity and upper limit is not known.
Vitamin K comes in a variety of different forms, known as vitamers. Forms of vitamin K are either phylloquinones (vitamin K1) or menaquinones (vitamin K2). The minimum effective dose for phylloquinone (vitamin K1) is 50mcg, and the maximum dose for vitamin K1 is 1,000mcg.
The minimum effective dose for short chain menaquinones (MK-4) is 1,500mcg. Doses of up to 45mg (45,000mcg) have been safely used in a super loading dosing protocol. The minimum effective dose for longer chain menaquinones (MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9) is between 90-360mcg. Further research is needed to determine the maximum effective dose for MK-7.
It’s possible to get high levels of eye vitamins from a healthy diet. Foods that contain eye vitamins include leafy greens, carrots, nuts, avocados, and fish. A diet rich in these foods should supply enough vitamins for most people.
However, there are benefits to taking supplements designed specifically for eye health. For one, you know the exact amounts of vitamins that you are consuming, and you can ensure consistent doses. In addition, any of these supplements are formulated specifically for eye health and have the right balance of vitamins needed to promote healthy vision.
Can you take to many eye vitamins? Yes. Some vitamins can be dangerous when taken in large doses, as they are fat soluble. This means that excess vitamins are stored in fat cells, which can impair healthy cellular function.
Other vitamins, however, are safe when taken in large doses. These vitamins are water soluble, meaning that excess amounts are excreted with fluids.
Can you get enough eye vitamins from your diet? In most cases, yes. Healthy amounts of eye vitamins can be consumed by eating a balanced diet of vitamin-rich foods like nuts, leafy greens, and fish.
However, vitamin supplementation may be a good idea for people who do not eat a consistent diet. It can help them maintain steady levels of key eye vitamins, ensuring that they always receive the required doses to protect their eyes.
What’s the best way to take eye vitamins? The most effective way of getting enough eye vitamins is through your diet. You can also take a number of different vitamin supplements that are designed to maintain eye health with special formulations.
What time of day should you take eye vitamins? Eye vitamins can be taken any time of day, but it’s likely best to take them in the morning alongside food.
How long do eye vitamin supplements last? The shelf life of eye vitamins will vary depending on the product and how it’s stored. Most will last a few years if stored in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. Check the bottle for an expiration date. Although many vitamins may still be safe after the expiration date, they may not be as effective.
What are the best foods to get eye vitamins? Nuts are some of the best foods for eye vitamins, as they contain high levels of vitamin E. Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps protect the eyes. Carrots have high levels of vitamin A and beta carotene, both of which are important for helping the eye absorb light.
Are eye vitamin supplements worth the cost? There are many different eye vitamin supplements that are promoted for their ability to maintain eye health. Although not all companies should be trusted, many of these products do contain the right blend of vitamins needed to support the vision.
These supplements are worth the money if your diet is vitamin deficient. However, if you already eat a mix of nuts, leafy greens, carrots, citrus, and fatty fish, you may not need the extra vitamins, and supplements could be a waste of money.
Do any eye drops contain vitamins? Although many eye drops can be beneficial for vision, they are not an effective way of getting vitamins to your eyes. Rather, eye vitamins need to be taken orally. The vitamins are absorbed by the digestive tract and then delivered to the eyes.
Can zinc be taken without copper in an eye vitamin? Yes, although it’s not recommended. Zinc is an important mineral for vision, helping maintain a healthy retina. Although found in many foods, such as red meat, it can also be taken as a supplement. If you add a zinc supplement to your diet, you should take it with copper, as zinc can drain copper from the body, causing fatigue and weakness.
Can the eye vitamin lutein improve vision? It is believed that lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin in the macula block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina, thereby reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to macular degeneration (AMD).
What is the best eye vitamin to take for glaucoma? Some evidence suggests that a high intake of vitamin B through dietary sources, including green leafy vegetables, may reduce the risk of some types of glaucoma. But B complex supplements, including folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, don’t appear to offer the same benefit.
Can CBD oil be used as an eye vitamin to lower eye pressure? Yes, CBD oil can be used as an eye vitamin to lower eye pressure. However, too much can do the opposite. A 2006 study by Tomida et al. found that CBD doses of above 40 mg can actually increase intraocular eye pressure.
Can stress increase eye pressure? The literature suggests that stress may play a part in the precipitation of acute closed-angle glaucoma because intraocular pressure (IOP) can be affected by the emotional state of the patient.
What foods are highest in the eye vitamin lutein? Although lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the bright colors of many fruits and vegetables, they’re actually found in greater amounts in leafy green vegetables. Key sources of these carotenoids include kale, parsley, spinach, broccoli, and peas.
Does the eve vitamin magnesium help eyesight? One study looked at whether magnesium might improve vision in people with glaucoma by enhancing blood flow to the eyes.
Can carrots improve eyesight? Carrots contain lots of beta carotene and vitamin A, which can contribute to your eyes’ health and may provide a fantastic source of eye vitamins for macular degeneration and cataracts.
Eye vitamins are a group of nutrients that are key for maintaining proper eye health and avoiding changes to vision associated with aging. They can protect the corneas and prevent age-related macular degeneration. Eye vitamins have few side effects when taken at the recommended dose.
Studies have shown that a daily dose of vitamin E can help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to partial or total blindness (24)
Vitamin A is essential for keeping the corneas clear, allowing the eyes to focus light. Regular doses of vitamin A can prevent xerophthalmia, a condition where the corneas soften, causing total blindness (25).
Other vitamins, such as B vitamins and vitamin C, can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, as well as prevent the buildup of homocysteine, a protein that causes inflammation in the eyes. Regular doses of both vitamins can lessen the chances of developing cataracts (26, 27)
Nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids and zinc are crucial for maintaining healthy retinas, and may also prevent eye conditions such as macular degeneration.
Eye vitamins have few side effects if taken at recommended doses. However, you should avoid high doses of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, as these can be toxic at high levels. Also be careful when taking eye supplements with multivitamins, as you could be taking excessive doses of certain vitamins.