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Five nutrients essential for eye health

Five nutrients essential for eye health

By Sharn Roberts, Dec 15, 2022

The human eye is a complex and fragile sensory organ. It is made up of many components that work together to help you see, including the retina, lens, sclera, vitreous body and cornea. With so many parts, it’s important to be proactive in protecting the eyes. One of the most effective ways to care for eye health is through good nutrition. The following five nutrients are especially important for the eyes.

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that supports many of the body’s functions, but is especially associated with vision. It plays a key role in retinal pigment epithelial cells, which absorb scattered light. The vitamin helps to maintain a clear cornea – the outside covering of the eye – and supports vision in low-light conditions.1 Found in both animal and plant foods, including liver, dairy products and spinach, it also has antioxidant properties.

Vitamin A

2. Carotenoids

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that accumulate in the lens and retina of the eye. They act as powerful antioxidants and help to shield the eyes from harmful light.2

“ The average American adult only consumes about 1-2mg of lutein per day…”

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average American adult only consumes about 1-2mg of lutein per day, and the occurrence of zeaxanthin in modern food products is low.3 Diets rich in these two nutrients can support eye health, with dietary supplements containing lutein and zeaxanthin another option to look after your vision.

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Ingredients in Lutenol

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Vitamins A, C and E
  • Zinc
  • Eyebright

Lutenol’s formula is closely aligned with scientific research by the National Eye Institute.

3. Vitamin C

Also known as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an essential vitamin the human body is not able to produce. It is an effective antioxidant that is vital for the formation of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons and ligaments, including those in the eyes. Oranges, grapefruit and tomatoes are among the fruits that contain vitamin C, and it is also found in good eye health supplements.4

vitamin C

4. Vitamin E

Another vitamin important for vision is vitamin E. The retina is highly concentrated in fatty acids, which are an integral part of all cell membranes that protect the eye. Unstable molecules called free radicals constantly attack these fats and break down the retina.

“Vitamin E … is used by the body to suppress free radicals in the eyes.”

But vitamin E, an essential antioxidant, is used by the body to suppress free radicals in the eyes.5 Some cooking oils and nuts are rich in the vitamin, including wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, almonds and hazelnuts.

5. Zinc


Healthy zinc levels support normal eye function by maintaining the health of the retina, cell membranes and protein structure of the eyes.6 Zinc is a mineral that functions as an antioxidant, and it’s known as the nutritional ‘gatekeeper of the immune system’. It plays a vital role in transporting vitamin A from the liver to the retina to produce melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. Oysters, beef and other meats are rich sources of zinc.

The Verdict

From vitamin A to Zinc, these nutrients are important in supporting healthy eye function and general eye health. The visual system is one of the highest energy-consuming systems of the body and it requires constant antioxidant support.7 These vitamins and minerals with antioxidant properties fight the free radicals that oxidize sensitive eye cells.

Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important to provide your eyes – and the rest of your body – with the nutrients they need for optimal health. If you think your diet is lacking in any of these vitamins and minerals, a dietary supplement that is formulated based on research from the National Eye Institute is an effective way to support your visual system.

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