It is estimated that about 22 million Americans over 40 have cataracts, while about 2 million adults over age 50 have age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can lead to blindness, according to 2011 information provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. You can help prevent or delay the onset of these and other eye problems with a high intake of certain nutrients, including vitamins. However, do not attempt to self-treat any eye conditions with supplemental vitamins unless you are under the supervision of a doctor, as some have harmful side effects and may interfere with the function of certain medications.
A study by the National Eye Institute, known as the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, published in the October issue of 2011 in "Archives of Ophthalmology" determined that people with age-related macular degeneration can decrease their risk of irreversible loss of vision by ingesting a combination of vitamins, one of which is vitamin C. In the study, participants took 500 mg of vitamin C daily. The recommended dietary intake of vitamin C for a healthy adult man is 90 mg daily, while women require at least 75 mg daily. Excellent sources of dietary vitamin C include citrus fruits, vegetables and fruit juice.
Adults should take 22. 5 international units, or IUs, of vitamin E daily. Most people get enough vitamin E to meet this requirement of foods including nuts like almonds, avocados and vegetable oils. In the study mentioned above, the subjects took 400 IUs of vitamin E in addition to vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc. Researchers have the theory that the strong antioxidant properties of vitamin E helped to make it effective against macular degeneration. Eating vitamin E supplements along with vitamin C can treat uveitis, a condition in which one of the layers of the eyes (called the tunica uvea) becomes inflamed and darkens vision.
Your body needs vitamin A to produce rhodopsin (or visual purple), which are the receptors in your retina that allow the eye to react to light. Without enough vitamin A in your diet, you may not see in mild light, a condition known as night blindness. A prolonged severe deficiency of vitamin A can eventually result in corneal ulcers, scars, and eventually, total loss of vision. Women require 2, 333 IUs of vitamin A daily, while men need 3, 000 IUs.You can avoid deficiencies in vitamin A by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly yellow or orange products such as sweet potatoes, carrots or melons. Beta-carotene is a compound that your body converts into a usable form of vitamin A. Participants in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study took 15 mg of beta-carotene daily.
While vitamin D is more frequently associated with bone health, a study published in the April 2011 issue of "Archives of Ophthalmology" indicates that the higher the vitamin D intake of a As a woman with both food and dietary supplements, the lower your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. The reason for this may be in the fact that vitamin D can inhibit tissue inflammation and the development of abnormal blood vessels that contribute to this eye disease. Your skin synthesizes some vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight, but other good sources include eggs, fatty fish such as salmon and products added with vitamin D such as breakfast cereal or milk. Adults should try a daily intake of at least 600 IUs of vitamin D.