Just like other parts of the body, the eyes can develop issues with age. One common eye-related health condition is age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of vision loss in people 60 and older (1).
Fortunately, certain vitamins have been shown to reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases and even slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the importance of eye vitamins in preventing age-related eye diseases, particularly macular degeneration.
Let’s get started.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects a person’s central vision, which is needed for detailed tasks.
The vision loss associated with this condition results from a gradual thinning of the macula—the part of the retina responsible for clear central vision (2). While people rarely go completely blind due to this condition, people can lose their ability to drive, see faces, and read smaller print.
How vision supplements can benefit your eyes
Getting adequate vitamins is essential in maintaining the health of your body, including your eyes. In a perfect world, you’d be able to get all the nutrients you need from diet alone each and every day. This, however, is nearly impossible due to several factors, such as genetic variations, dietary restrictions, unavailability of certain foods, busy schedules, personal preferences, and portion size.
Vision supplements cover all the nutritional blind spots in your diet, ensuring you receive all the nutrients your eyes need to maintain their health.
What vitamins are good for maintaining eye health? (Eye Vitamins)
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and AREDS2 were two major research studies done by the U.S. National Eye Institute. They found that supplementing your diet with high levels of certain vitamins may help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and support good eye health overall (3).
Based on that research, an effective eye vitamin should include the following nutrients:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells, including your eye cells, from damage by free radicals (harmful, unstable molecules). Research suggests that vitamin C can help lower your risk of developing cataracts and, when combined with the other vitamins in this article, slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (4)(5).
Like vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects your eyes against harmful free radicals. In clinical studies, it’s been shown to help prevent age-related cataracts and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration progressing to advanced stages (6)(5).
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that’s present in high concentrations in the eyes, however, it diminishes with age. In one study, older adults with early macular degeneration were given zinc supplements. Their macular deterioration slowed and they maintained their visual sharpness better than those who received a placebo (7).
Copper is an essential trace mineral that has been shown to improve eye health and inhibit the progression of age-related macular degeneration (8). It binds with zinc, so the two should always be supplemented together for eye health.
Lutein & Zeaxanthin
Lutein & Zeaxanthin are carotenoids, a group of beneficial compounds synthesized by plants. Several studies suggest that these powerful plant compounds may prevent cataracts, as well as prevent and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (9)(10).
Support Your Eye Health with MaculaSight
If you’re looking for a well-balanced eye vitamin with all the essentials, look no further than MaculaSight. (Also check in our Shop) This vision supplement contains the ideal combination of vitamins, as suggested by the AREDS2 study, for age-related macular degeneration.
The carefully-selected nutrients in this supplement will also support your overall eye health, ensuring you can see the world more clearly for years to come.
- Ayoub, T., & Patel, N. (2009). Age-related macular degeneration. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 102(2), 56–61. https://doi.org/10.1258/jrsm.2009.080298
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, May 8). Dry macular degeneration. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-macular-degeneration/symptoms-causes/syc-20350375
- S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Age-related eye disease studies (areds/AREDS2). National Eye Institute. Retrieved February 8, 2022, from https://www.nei.nih.gov/research/clinical-trials/age-related-eye-disease-studies-aredsareds2
- Carr, A. C., & Frei, B. (1999). Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 69(6), 1086–1107. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/69.6.1086
- A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and Vision Loss. (2001). Archives of Ophthalmology, 119(10), 1417. https://doi.org/10.1001/archopht.119.10.1417
- Zhang, Y., Jiang, W., Xie, Z., Wu, W., & Zhang, D. (2015). Vitamin E and risk of age-related cataract: A meta-analysis. Public Health Nutrition, 18(15), 2804–2814. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1368980014003115
- Newsome, D. A., Swartz, M., Leone, N. C., Elston, R. C., & Miller, E. (1988). Oral zinc in macular degeneration. Archives of Ophthalmology, 106(2), 192–198. https://doi.org/10.1001/archopht.1988.01060130202026
- Erie, J. C., Good, J. A., Butz, J. A., & Pulido, J. S. (2009). Reduced zinc and copper in the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid in age-related macular degeneration. American Journal of Ophthalmology, 147(2). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2008.08.014
- Liu, R., Wang, T., Zhang, B., Qin, L., Wu, C., Li, Q., & Ma, L. (2014). Lutein and Zeaxanthin Supplementation and association with visual function in age-related macular degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 56(1), 252–258. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-15553
- Jia, Y.-P., Sun, L., Yu, H.-S., Liang, L.-P., Li, W., Ding, H., Song, X.-B., & Zhang, L.-J. (2017). The pharmacological effects of lutein and zeaxanthin on visual disorders and cognition diseases. Molecules, 22(4), 610. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22040610