Guide to Choosing Best Eye Vitamins

Dietary supplements are a good way to help ensure that you are getting enough of the valuable nutrients you need each day for a healthy body and healthy vision. Keep in mind that supplements don't mean that you can abandon a healthy diet or indulge in too much junk food with poor nutrient value.

To obtain all the nutrients your body needs, you should eat five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables and at least three daily servings of whole grains and healthy nuts or oils.

Dietary Supplements That Support Healthy Vision

Several nutritional compounds have been shown in some research to be associated with reduced risk of and macular degeneration, as well as generally support healthy vision. When you shop for a daily dietary supplement, look for the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C 500 mg
  • Vitamin E 400 mg
  • Beta-Carotene 25,000 IU
  • Zinc 40-80 mg
  • Lutein 5-15 mg
  • Zeaxanthin 500 mcg - 15,000 mcg (same as 0.5-15 mg)
  • Selenium 100 mcg
  • Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids 2,000-3,000 mg (usually supplied separately)
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid 100 mg

How to Choose the Right Supplement Brands

When choosing dietary supplements for vision, make sure you read labels carefully and follow these guidelines to make sure you obtain the very best possible source:

  • Check for an expiration date to make sure the dietary supplement you are purchasing is fresh. Make sure the seal on the bottle has not been broken.
  • Capsules are better absorbed than hard tablets. Capsules are associated with less stomach upset, which can occur with tablets.
  • The best supplements use organic ingredients. These supplements generally cost more, but you usually have to pay more for better quality.
  • Supplements should not contain dairy products, corn, or wheat as fillers, which can adversely affect people with allergies or other intolerance problems. The most reputable companies will formulate their dietary supplements without these ingredients.
  • The two types of omega-3 essential fatty acids are flax oil and fish oil. If you use fish oil, check the label to verify that it has been molecularly distilled in a process that removes mercury and other contaminants.
  • Because dietary supplements are not regulated, you can't be sure that they actually contain the amounts of supplements claimed on the label. Ask for help from nutrition store clerks or health professionals to find brands that are trustworthy. Still not sure? Contact the supplement company directly and ask them about their quality control and proof of Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity (ORAC) testing. This is a widely accepted, standard test that accurately assesses the effectiveness of a substance in neutralizing damaging chemicals known as free radicals.

Precautions for Taking Dietary Supplements

While dietary supplements generally are very safe and beneficial, you should follow a few precautions. If you are pregnant, nursing, or taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants), speak to your doctor before using dietary supplements. Make sure you follow the label instructions on the bottle regarding dosage, unless you consult with your health care professional about a different dosage.


Related Links

The American Academy of Ophthalmology - San Francisco, California

American Academy of Optometry - optometric organization

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery - cataract and refractive surgeon organization

National Eye Institute - part of the United States National Institutes of Health

Lutein and Zeaxanthin - carotenoids that work with anti-oxidants