Boosting Your Eye Health With Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements can help prevent and slow the progression of eye diseases, especially if you don’t eat as well as you could.

Even if you do eat well, some antioxidant levels needed for eye health can’t be reached with foods alone, at least not without eating pounds of certain foods. Others just aren’t available anymore due to the way we grow our foods today.

Take the following nutritional supplements to ensure that your eyes continue to function properly for years to come. But before you start, speak with your doctor, especially if you are taking medications.


Take a 5,000 IU supplement of beta-carotene daily. This carotenoid is converted into Vitamin A, which is essential for good vision, and, unlike Vitamin A, it is also an antioxidant.

Be aware that beta-carotene has been linked with a higher rate of lung cancer in smokers, and high doses may be toxic if taken with alcohol.

Also, your skin may start to turn a yellowish orange color since beta-carotene can accumulate under your skin (this will disappear if you lower the daily dose you take of this nutritional supplement).

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein supplements are made from marigold flowers. Lutein supplements were not available when the National Eye Institute's AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) testing was done, so there was no certainty about the efficacy of lutein and zeaxanthin supplements.

However, the Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST) conducted by the Veteran's Administration of the U.S. Government proved conclusively that lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are very useful for protecting your eyesight from the damage caused by blue light.

A 6-10 mg supplement should be enough to keep your eyes healthy.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C content in foods decreases rapidly while they are shipped and prepared. Therefore, a 1,000 mg nutritional supplement is needed daily.

Vitamin C is water-soluble and easily flushed out of the system, so use either a time release 1,000 mg dose, two 500 mg doses, or four 250 mg doses throughout the day.

If you are suffering from glaucoma, your doctor may have you take anywhere from 2,000 mg to 35,000 mg daily. Much of this won’t be flushed from your system because it will be used to repair and maintain the collagen tissues in your eyes.

Be aware that taking chewable Vitamin C tablets can dissolve tooth enamel due to the formation of an acid from this form of the vitamin.

Also, if you have a history of kidney stones, you should take care if you supplement with more than 60 mg per day (the U.S. recommended dietary allowance).

Vitamin E

You will have a hard time getting from food the 400 IU of Vitamin E that you should have to ensure good eye health. A 400 IU nutritional supplement is necessary.

There are two types of Vitamin E: natural and synthetic. Natural Vitamin E is d-alpha-tocopherol, and the synthetic version is dl-alpha-tocopherol.

Related tocopherols may enhance d-alpha’s activity, so look for Vitamin E as “mixed natural tocopherols,” which include d-beta, d-gamma, and d-delta forms.

Be aware that Vitamin E acts as a blood thinner, so check with your doctor before using it if you are on anticoagulants such as Coumadin or aspirin, or if you are taking omega-3 fatty acids (which also thin the blood).

It can also raise your cholesterol level, so have your level checked every year.


Take a 50 mcg nutritional supplement daily as it is an important part of an antioxidant enzyme in the eyes.

Be aware that selenium can cause gastrointestinal problems. If you can’t tolerate a 50 mcg supplement, try a smaller one.


The highest concentration of zinc in the body is found in the retinas, and it is important for the proper functioning of the antioxidant enzymes in the eyes. Therefore, take a 45 mg nutritional supplement daily.

Be aware that excessive zinc can cause problems with copper uptake. It can also cause fever, nausea and associated vomiting, and diarrhea. It may also be linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, although this has not been definitively proven yet.


Copper is also important to the proper functioning of antioxidant enzymes in the eyes. Take a 2 mg nutritional supplement daily to protect your body against copper uptake interference by zinc, and to give the enzymes sufficient support to do their job.


A 3.5 mg nutritional supplement per day is necessary for proper functioning of the antioxidant enzymes in the eyes.


Two 500 mg capsules twice a day will give you enough curcumin to help protect against cataracts.

Nutritional Supplements Designed With Your Eyes In Mind

There have been several supplements created for used by macular degeneration patients, and many, many others developed for general eye care. Learn about these nutritional supplements here.