Important Antioxidants for Healthy Eyes

Important Antioxidants for Healthy Eyes

Author -  Vicki Philbey

Antioxidants help to protect against free radical damage. We are exposed to these daily due to our environment (pollution, chemicals, cigarette smoke) and due to natural chemical processes in our own bodies. Free radicals cause damage to the cells of the body which can have negative effects on our health.

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants help to protect against free radical damage. We are exposed to these daily due to our environment (pollution, chemicals, cigarette smoke) and due to natural chemical processes in our own bodies. Free radicals cause damage to the cells of the body which can have negative effects on our health.

Why are antioxidants important for my eyes?

Studies show that people with low levels of antioxidants are more likely to develop Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This causes the reduction of vision in the centre of the eye (the macula) and is one of the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment in older people (>50 years).

What antioxidants can I get from my food?

Vitamin A - found in carrots, apricots, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, asparagus, broccoli, cod liver oil, liver and animal protein.

Carotenoids - found in carrots, yellow and red vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables and eggs. The carotenoids are a family of compounds related to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is needed to make Vitamin A. Taking large amounts of Vitamin A can be toxic. (RDI is 2500IUs daily)Getting beta-carotene from food sources is a good way of getting Vitamin A.Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids -found in citrus, kiwifruit, broccoli, raw cabbage, peppers, pineapple, parsley, rosehips, strawberries and bilberries.

Vitamin E - found in almonds, beef, corn, egg yolk, nuts, sunflower and wheatgerm.

How will antioxidants protect my eyes?

  • Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye for low light vision (as in night time conditions) and colour vision. Night blindness is one of the early signs of Vitamin A deficiency.
  • A deficiency of Vitamin A can cause dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea due to reduced tearing and lead to inflammation of the eye and corneal ulcers.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important antioxidants from the carotenoid family. They act like natural sunglasses by forming pigment that filters damaging sun rays, protecting the eyes from oxidative stress and high-energy light.
  • Vitamin C helps the formation of collagen, a connective tissue found in the cornea. It also promotes the health of the delicate capillaries and blood vessels in the retina.
  • Vitamin E protects the membrane of the eye from free radical damage and reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cloudiness of the eyes .
 
 
 
 
 
 

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