The 4 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health
There’s a tradition among Pacific Islanders that eating fish is good for the eyes. That’s no urban legend. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils are great for the retina. But that’s not the only eye-friendly vitamins for eye health you can get from food.
The structure of the eyes is built with a protein called Collagen. Vitamin C is necessary to produce collagen, and it’s not something the body makes. So you’ll have to get your daily dose of Vitamin C from increasing vitamin C rich food, or from taking additional Vitamin C like USANA Booster C 600.
Building Collagen from amino acids also needs the mineral zinc. Zinc helps transport vitamin A to the retina. Not having enough of it can lead to diseases like night blindness.
There is too much evidence that the carotenoid vitamin Lutein is good for preventing age-related eye diseases. Lutein-rich foods include egg yolks, spinach, broccoli, corn, kale, orange pepper, grapes, squash, and orange juice.
Lutein goes together with zeaxanthin, also a carotenoid. Zeaxanthin plays the role of protecting the eyes from light-induced damage and oxidative stress.
You could say these four nutrients together are key for eye health. Supplements like USANA’s Visionex bring them together and give you antioxidant-rich armor for your eyes.
What are the kinds of things we need to shield our eyes from?
How Oxidative Stress Affects the Eyes
Our eyes are delicate and more vulnerable than we realize.
The irony of nature is that our eyes are prone to oxidative stress from sunlight. Light from the sun bombards the eyes and generates enormous stress. The stress cooks up a soup of free radicals – nitrogen and oxygen ions that are eager to react but end up destroying good cells in the body in the process. Sunlight causes lipids and proteins in the eyes to oxidate.
It’s not just sunlight that harms the windows to our soul. Artificial light from our mobile phones and laptops are terrible for our sensitive mammalian retinas. So are pollutants in the air.
But did you know that a high metabolic rate in the retina can also cause oxidative stress?
The retina needs a ba
lanced environment to be healthy. In other words, a balance of oxygen, free radicals, and antioxidant molecules that fight damage due to oxidative stress.
The retina also has a highly demanding metabolism that consumes a lot of oxygen.
Over time, the toxin damage adds up. It leads to faster aging of the eye and diseases.
The solution is for the eye to bolster itself against light damage. There are specific nutrients that can help the eye to do this.
Specific Nutrients Protect our Eyes Against the Light
It’s ironic that the light we need to be able to see is like slow poison for our eyes. But our eyes have a natural built-in protective mechanism: they channel in nutrients that have a shielding effect against the light.
Vitamin C, Zinc, Lutein and Zeaxanthin are some of the most important nutrients for maintaining eye health and preventing macular degeneration. The USANA Visionex Eye Health Supplement brings these nutrients together for an armor boost. In addition, it also includes bilberry extract.
To get some extra overall protection, USANA Cellsentials is a comprehensive pharmaceutical grade GMP multivitamin for general well being.
Flavonoids for Extra Protection
Bilberry extract is a natural source of anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. Bilberry is quite popular for eye health. Anthocyanins help to improve blood circulation in the eye. They may also protect the eyes from glaucoma, cataracts, and sun damage. There’s a reason why blueberries and blackberries are prescribed for eye health.
Along with Vitamin C and zinc, the bilberry extract works to protect against anti-oxidative stress.
If you look at the anatomy of an eye, you’ll find the macula, a thick yellow oval near the center of the retina. This area is densely pigmented with a yellow pigment. Does it bring to mind the yellow vegetables that contain lutein and zeaxanthin? That’s because the macula contains these carotenoids. They help to protect the sensitive light receptors in that area from shorter wavelengths of light, or blue light.
As you can see, the eye is equipped to be healthy if it gets the nutrients it needs.
The Need for Eye Supplementation
The body can’t make Zinc, Vitamin C, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin. But when you give your body these nutrients, your eyes are quick to utilize them. You could potentially get the four nutrients important for good eye health from a healthy diet. Research suggests there’s a positive correlation between the amounts of nutrients you take and their availability in the eye.
As long as you’re taking these nutrients on a regular basis, their levels go up in the eye.
With age, the pigment density in the macula goes down. It’s especially important for the aging eye to receive extra support from good nutrition or high quality supplements, like USANA Vitamins
Effective Vitamins for Eye Health and the formulation of USANA Visionex is designed to reinforce the defense against light-damage if taken on a regular basis.
Good Habits to Protect the Eyes
A good diet and nutritional supplementation alone is not enough to protect your eyes against oxidative stress. Healthy habits are also necessary.
This means wearing sunglasses to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. It means taking time off from your laptops and cellphones from time to time.
Research has shown that you need regular supplementation with zeaxanthin and lutein to influence long-term benefits. This means around four to six months of taking Eye Health Supplements.
Taking carotenoids regularly may lead to evident changes:
- Sharper edges associated with healthy vision
- Better eyesight in haze or low light
- Improves tolerance against bright light and speeds up recovery
The science behind supplements like USANA Visionex is solid. Researchers have linked these nutrients to reducing risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Influences in Cell Signaling
One of the underlying ways in which these nutrients help is through cell signaling. Cell signaling is the way cells in the body talk to each other. They receive signals, process these signals, and transmit signals to keep the body’s processes working normally.
Zinc plays a role in cell signaling. It can influence the transmissions of nerve impulses in the body.
Lutein and zeaxanthin can cross the blood-brain barrier and offer cognitive benefits. They may help to shuttle electrons along neurons. They may also help support important cell signaling routes. These routes turn on the gene that keeps neurons in close contact, and makes messaging between cells more efficient.
The Bottom Line
The four nutrients that are good for the eyes are also good for brain function. There are plenty of other benefits, such as Vitamin C’s support of healthy, supple skin.
Combine these nutrients with a healthy diet and healthy habits to protect the eyes. Take control of your eye health ASAP.