In this article, we’ll take about which dietary supplements are the best for your eyes.
Supplement 1: Fish Oils
First, we have fish oil. To summarize omega-3 fish oils are essential fatty acids which means that your body cannot produce them on its own. They must be consumed from our diet. Worth mentioning, they are great for people suffering from dry eye disease as it allows body to control inflammation more effectively. Fish oils are known to have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, so this is why they are sold in this way. In the ingredient section, you’re looking for two compounds-- EPA and DHA. For every 1000 milligrams of fish oils you take, you get about 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA. There are studies that suggest that fish oils have benefits in preventing dry eye disease.
Compounding Pharmacy of America
Supplement 2: Lutein
Next on the list, we have lutein. In a lot of eye supplements, you’ll often find lutein as the main ingredient. But, what is Lutein? And why is it so important? The short answer is: it really isn’t all that important for most of us. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are pigments found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, and lettuce. They were used in the second age-related eye disease study in 2012 as the main ingredient in slowing down macular damage. Also, the results showed that Lutein and Zeaxanthin were in fact effective in slowing down the formula that they used consisting of 500 milligrams of vitamin c, 400 international units of Vitamin E, 2 milligrams of copper, 10 milligrams of Lutein. When you pick up Lutein products, always read the ingredients carefully. Because sometimes the values can vary from product.
*Attention: Lutein supplements do not prevent macular degeneration from happening for those that don’t have it. They only benefit those that have already got macular degeneration. So if you’re taking these to prevent it, then I would advise against it. They are more effective for those that have Intermediate or Advanced Macular Degeneration and less effective for Early Macular Degeneration.
Getty / happy lark
Supplement 3: Biberry
Next on the list, we have Bilberry. Bilberry is a type of blueberry that has high levels of antioxidants and the belief is that it should help with the following things. Healthy eye function and night vision. I do think antioxidants have a lot of different things but from doing some research, there is still very little evidence that shows Bilberry doing any of these things. So I’m quite skeptical of Bilberry being a good supplement for the eyes as the evidence is weak. However, a study done in 2012 looked at 332 patients that had glaucoma and investigated whether Bilberry had any effect on their visual function. The result is: on average, the Bilberry group had an improvement in their visual acuity and their Humphreys visual fields mean deviation. That is to say that their vision improved as well as the symptoms of glaucoma. From the published literature, we can see that Bilberries although they can help some people perhaps the ones with glaucoma, won’t help young healthy individuals that may take it. But at least there aren’t any known downsides, so if it’s just antioxidants that you’re after, then Bilberry is all yours.
Supplement 4: Vision Protect 1-A-DAY
Next we have Vision Protect 1-A-DAY, which is a comprehensive eye formula with fifteen thousand milligrams of Bilberry. The ingredients consist of a cocktail of plant extracts and vitamins. There are even ones that are quite familiar to us such as beta-carotene, Bilberry, copper, Lutein, Vitamin C, Zeaxanthin and Zinc. However, it also includes some other ingredients that may help with some other conditions, such as selenium. I think this may have been included, because an article in 2014 stated that 200 patients with graves disease, those have bigger problems, were likely to have low selenium level. I think this particular product may be targeted to those that are planning on buying something for their elderly family members that have an eye condition, but have no idea what problem they have. As it includes ingredients that may help with many different eye conditions, I’m still skeptical as to whether a combination of multiple ingredients has any significant advantage over a targeted formula. We’ll have to just wait and see if more studies get published.
Just remember when taking dietary supplements as the name suggests, they should be supplementary to your diet. These should never replace your normal diet or other recommendations from your optometrist. But if there is one supplement that I can highly recommend to everyone just wanting good eye function. It would be fish oil. The evidence is strong on this one and I want to recommend it to everyone with dry eye issues, you’re looking to take around 1000mg of EPA and 600mg of DHA a day which roughly equates to about 5 milligrams of fish oil.