Antioxidants may help to protect vision
Anna Seward - Jul 2013
An eye expert at Harvard Medical School has underscored the importance of certain vitamins, minerals and other antioxidant nutrients for preventing vision loss.
A high intake of antioxidants may help to prevent vision loss - an issue that most people become concerned about as they get older.
According to Dr Ivana Kim, associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help to prevent common causes of vision problems.
This means that concentrating on particular fruits and vegetables, as well as taking a high-quality antioxidant supplement, could help to protect people's eyesight as they age.
Writing in the August 2013 issue of the Harvard Health Letter, Dr Kim revealed that eating certain foods may help to prevent cataracts - cloudy areas in the lens of the eye - and a condition called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
"While there is no definite proof, some studies suggest that eating a diet rich in certain nutrients may help," she said.
Some of the nutrients that may be beneficial for people with concerns about their eye health are vitamins A, C and E and the mineral zinc, with research showing they may help to slow down the progression of AMD.
Dr Kim revealed: "The retina, especially the macula, is thought to be an environment of high oxidative stress, meaning that there is an abundance of free radicals - molecules that damage proteins and DNA within cells.
"Antioxidants fight free radicals and are thought to help protect the retina from this damage."
Other antioxidant compounds that may help to protect eyesight include lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are found in the retina of the eye and protect cells by absorbing harmful ultraviolet light and by neutralising free radicals.
All of these nutrients can be found in food; for instance, zinc occurs in red meat and shellfish, vitamins A, C and E in various vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and lutein and zeaxanthin in leafy green vegetables, yellow and orange produce and salmon.
However, many people do not have enough fruit and vegetables in their daily diet and would benefit from using a high-quality antioxidant supplement, such as AlphaGuard Plus, which is supplied by Really Healthy.
This unique antioxidant complex contains many of the most important nutrients for eye health, including vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Another product that may be of interest to consumers with concerns about deteriorating vision is AlphaCurcumin Plus, which contains a highly bioavailable form of curcumin extract.
Curcumin is derived from the curry spice turmeric and has a range of important benefits for health, including its powerful antioxidant capabilities.