Key Supplements for Healthy Eyes

By Ben Winters

Supplements for healthy eyes, especially those that contain bilberry extract, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc, can be beneficial, especially for people who spend extensive hours in front of screens, or have nutritional gaps in their diet.

The modern lifestyle, often characterised by prolonged exposure to digital devices and inadequate dietary habits, can take a toll on our eye health. As a result, the demand for a more focused approach to eye care is increasing, with particular emphasis on nutritional supplementation.

One of the key nutrients essential for eye health is Vitamin A.

It plays a crucial role in maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outer covering of the eye. Vitamin A is also integral in the formation of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that allows you to see in low light conditions.

Deficiency in this vitamin can lead to issues like night blindness. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and green leafy vegetables are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A, but supplementation can be an easier and more efficient way to ensure adequate intake.

Another important group of nutrients for eye health are the Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA.

These fatty acids support the maintenance of a healthy retina. While Omega-3s are present in high concentrations in shellfish, such as the green lipped mussel, and fish like salmon and sardines, supplements can be an excellent alternative for those who don't consume enough fish or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. 

Antioxidants also play a significant role in eye health. 

Lutein and Zeaxanthin, for instance, are antioxidants found in the retina that protect the eyes from harmful blue light emitted by digital screens. While they are available in leafy greens and other vegetables, the required daily amount is often not met through diet alone. This gap can be efficiently filled with supplements. 

Bilberry extract, a supplement derived from the bilberry, which is a fruit similar to the blueberry, has potential benefits in eye health. 

Rich in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, bilberry is believed to support night vision and reduce eye fatigue, particularly in environments with poor lighting. These antioxidants may help protect the eyes from oxidative stress. Some studies suggest that bilberry extract may improve blood circulation in the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, thereby enhancing overall eye function and health. 

Combining bilberry extract with lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc creates a potent blend of nutrients, each bringing unique advantages for eye health. 

Bilberry extract, rich in antioxidants, aids in protecting the eyes from oxidative stress and may improve microcirculation within the eye. Lutein and zeaxanthin, concentrated in the macula, act as natural sunscreens by absorbing harmful blue light and combatting free radicals. Zinc plays a critical role in transporting Vitamin A from the liver to the retina, aiding in the production of melanin, a protective pigment in the eyes. 

This combination of nutrients may amplify individual benefits and work together to support visual acuity, help to protect against eye strain, and support overall eye health. 

This multi-nutrient approach aligns with the holistic nature of our body's nutritional needs and underscores the importance of comprehensive care in maintaining optimal eye health.