Vitamins are vital nutrients for survival as well as for performing different roles in the body. There is a fine line between getting the vitamins in the maximum healthy amount and the minimum amount which can end up harming your body or any part of the body. Having a fine healthy diet is the best way to get a sufficient number of vitamins the body needs.
Essential Nutrients required
Every day, your body produces skin, muscle, and bone. It churns out rich red blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to remote outposts, and it sends nerve signals skipping along thousands of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers that shuttle from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help sustain your life.
But to do all this, your body requires some raw materials. These include at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that your body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts.
Vitamins are considered essential nutrients—because acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy and repair cellular damage.
But trying to keep track of what all these vitamins and minerals do can be confusing. Read enough articles on the topic, and your eyes may swim with the alphabet-soup references to these nutrients, which are known mainly by their initials (such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K—to name just a few).
In this article, you’ll gain a better understanding of what these vitamins and minerals do in the body and why you want to make sure you’re getting enough of them.
There are 13 known vitamins. They are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are easier for the body to store than water-soluble. Vitamins always contain carbon, so they are described as “organic.” Food is the best source of vitamins, but some people may be advised by a physician to use supplements.
A vitamin is both:
- An organic compound, which means it contains carbon
- An essential nutrient that the body cannot produce enough of and which it needs to get from food
You’ve probably heard someone say, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes.” You may have also seen advertisements for nutritional supplements for eye health. Can vitamins and minerals benefit your eye health and vision? Keep reading to learn more about supplements and eye health.
Essential Vitamin Supplements for Eyes
The following supplements, including the antioxidants found in AREDS2 capsules, are beneficial for some people.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments found in plants and your retina. Supplementing these pigments helps increase their density in your retina. They also absorb high-energy blue and ultraviolet light that can damage your eyes.
Also found naturally in your eyes, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Zinc is the primary mineral in the AREDS2 formulation. When taking zinc, copper absorption is lessened. It’s recommended that zinc be combined with copper supplements.
Vitamin B1 is essential for the health of your eyes. There’s evidence that vitamin B1, taken with other vitamins, may reduce your risk of getting cataracts, but more research is needed.
Known as one of the “anti-stress” B vitamins, vitamin B1 reduces inflammation.
The diet of most Americans doesn’t contain enough omega-3 fatty acids, the main source of which is fish. Photoreceptors cells in your retina contain a large quantity of omega-3 fatty acid. It’s believed that Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid, helps in the development of retinal cells. It’s also thought to have a role in reducing inflammation and helping cells of the retina and the cornea heal and regenerate after damage due to light exposure and aging.
Several large studies show that vitamin C reduces the risk of getting some types of cataracts. Two of these studies also found that a combination of vitamins C and E supplements reduced the risk for cataracts and slowed the progression of cataracts.