Nutrition & Ocular Health
Proper nutrition is important to overall health. This includes ocular health as well. Many important nutrients are found in green leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seafood. Unfortunately, most individuals do not consume the recommended amounts of nutrients needed for ocular health. Studies have shown a significant gap between the suggested intake of these eye nutrients and actual consumption.
Our society’s increased intake of processed foods and decreased consumption of nutrient rich natural foods has left our diets lacking in these critical nutrients. The average Western diet is filled with an excessive consumption of fat, dairy, salt, refined cereals, sugar, and vegetable oils. As an individual’s intake of glucose and fatty acids increases, antioxidant and nutrient availability decrease.
This can lead to an imbalance of antioxidants and oxidative damage that occurs in the normal aging process of the eye. Increasing daily intake of green leafy vegetables, fruits, and certain seafood can reduce this damage and thereby decrease an individual’s risk for developing AMD. If increased consumption of essential eye nutrients is difficult, supplementation becomes important. Nature’s Eye Vitamins® contain each key nutrient important in the healthy functioning of the eye. For a complete listing of eye essential nutrients and their role in eye health refer to our product ingredients.
The EyeAge Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a disease that gradually destroys sharp, central vision.
Risk FactorsMany risk factors predispose an individual to AMD. Some risk factors are modifiable.
Age Related Eye DiseaseRead about the landmark AREDS studies that show results of essential vitamins to eye health for those with age related eye diseases.
Nature's Eye Vitamins Ingredients
Nature’s Eye Vitamins® are made from natural ingredients, without the use of any animal byproducts or preservatives. The product contains ingredients based on the latest scientific research. In addition, the capsule form of delivery provides greater absorption than a tablet form. The capsule can even be opened and mixed into water or juice for individuals who prefer this method of taking medications.
What is it? Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid, is a water soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant needed for the production of collagen and connective tissue. These fibers provide firm but flexible structures in the body.
Why is it important to eye health? The retina is a perfect environment for the production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). These small particles lead to disease by causing tissue injury and inflammation. Chronic inflammation and immune responses lead to damage and eventual death of the macular retinal pigment. Antioxidants offer some protection from the effects of free radicals. Vitamin C is a small antioxidant molecule that provides a secondary defense for the macula. Vitamin C is concentrated in the retina and aqueous humor.
Where can it be found? In red and green peppers, kiwis, oranges, strawberries & broccoli.
What is it? Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant, it stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Vitamin E functions in enzyme activities and certain neurological functions throughout the body.
Why is it important to eye health? Vitamin E is a small antioxidant molecule that provides a secondary defense for the macula. Vitamin E is concentrated in the rod outer segments of the eye.
Where can it be found? In fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter and vegetable oils.
What is it? Zinc is a nutrient found in cells throughout the body. It is a mineral that is vital to many biological functions. Zinc helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The body uses zinc to produce many proteins, including Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the building blocks for all tissue.
Why is it important to eye health? The macula contains protective antioxidant enzymes. These include glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. These enzymes either contain or require zinc for proper functioning. Zinc is essential for the structural function of the membranes of the eye.
Where can it be found? In red meats, seafood and fortified cereals.
What is it? Bilberry is the fruit from a species of low growing shrubs native to Finland and Norway. These berries are closely related to blueberries of North America.
Why is it important to eye health? Bilberry improves the microcirculation of the retina. It also provides nutrients needed to protect eyes from eyestrain and fatigue, and also helps in boosting circulation to the eyes.
Where can it be found? Found throughout temperate and subarctic regions of the world. They grow in very acidic and nutrient-poor soil. They are closely related to blueberries and huckleberries and can be made into jams, juices, or pies.
What is it? Lutein is a yellow pigment that provides color to fruits and vegetables, especially those green leafy vegetables, corn, persimmons, and egg yolks. Lutein is a primary carotenoid in the lens of the eye.
Why is it important to eye health? Lutein was found to be concentrated in the macula. It plays a protective role in the macula by filtering short-wave blue light and performing antioxidant functions. Low levels of lutein intake have been associated with a high prevalence of neovascular AMD. Also, decreased macular pigment density has been associated with an increased risk for AMD. It is believed that lutein helps keep the eyes safe from oxidative stress and the high-energy photons of blue light. Research studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between lutein intake and pigmentation in the eye. There is clinical evidence of a relationship between low plasma concentrations of lutein, and an increased risk of developing Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
Where can it be found? Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Corn, Orange peppers, Kiwi fruit, Grapes, Orange juice, Zucchini, Squash, Persimmons and Egg Yolks.
What is it? Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus found in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure.
Why is it important to eye health? Vitamin D has been shown to reduce levels of amyloid beta accumulation, a hallmark of aging. It also has a significant effect on retinal macrophage numbers and shapes. AMD is associated with both amyloid beta accumulation and inflammation. Vitamin D supplementation appears to benefit both of these conditions.
Where can it be found? Fish liver oils, Fatty fish, Fortified milk products and Fortified cereals.
What is it? Magnesium is a mineral that is present in relatively large amounts in the body. Researchers estimate that the average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bones. Magnesium is important in more than 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly.
Why is it important to eye health? Magnesium helps to regulate taurine and taurine can substitute for magnesium when magnesium is deficient. Both taurine and magnesium stabilize cell membranes.
Where can it be found? Green leafy vegetables, Brazil nuts, Almonds, Soybeans, Halibut and Quinoa.
What is it? Taurine is an amino acid, a chemical that is a required building block of protein. It plays an important role in membrane stabilization and antioxidation.
Why is it important to eye health? Taurine is essential for the proper development and function of the retina.
Where can it be found? Seafood and Meat.
What is it? Zeaxanthin is a bioflavonoid (or flavonoid), which is a type pigment found in almost all herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Zeaxanthin belongs to a group of bioflavonoids known as carotenoids. Zeaxanthin provides the body with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection.
Why is it important to eye health? Zeaxanthin is a macular pigment that plays a protective role in the macula by filtering short-wave blue light and performing antioxidant functions. Decreased macular pigment density has been associated with an increased risk for AMD.
Where can it be found? Spinach, Collards, Spinach, Orange Juice, Lettuce, Oranges, Tangerines, Peas, Peaches, Carrots, Broccoli and Celery.
What is it? Copper is essential to all living organisms as a trace dietary mineral. It is a key component of the respiratory enzyme complex. Copper is found in humans in the liver, muscle and bone.
Why is it important to eye health? Copper has a variety of health benefits, including improving eye health and helping to inhibit the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration. Copper acts as an antioxidant, and assists in the development of flexible connective tissue for proper eye structure.
Where can it be found? Seafood, Nuts, Seeds, Wheat bran cereals and Whole Grains.