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Articles  |  Nutrition  |   Vitamin C for Eye Health

Vitamin C for Eye Health

Vitamin C for Eye Health
Eye health isn’t something we often think about – until we have trouble with our eyes. One of the best ways you can care for your eyes is to get plenty of Vitamin C.
 
It’s long been known that Vitamin C is good for our whole body. But did you know it’s particularly good for our eyes? A recent study has found that our eyes need regular doses of Vitamin C to function properly.

Vitamin C Powerhouse

Vitamin C is a powerhouse that helps keep our whole body healthy. It promotes healthy bones, skin and blood vessels. It helps maintain our immune system and connective tissue. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and oxidative stress.

Eyes Need Nourishment

Our eyes are often described as the most complex organ in our body. They are comprised of delicate blood vessels, nerve cells and connective tissue. It’s not surprising then that our eyes benefit from Vitamin C.
So how does Vitamin C directly impact on our eye health?
 
The aqueous humor is the watery fluid that fills the space between the cornea and the iris. The fluid nourishes and protects the cornea and lens and gives the eye its shape. Aqueous humor has very high levels of Vitamin C – much higher than our blood.  Maintaining high levels of Vitamin C in the aqueous is essential to nourish the eyes and protect them from oxidative stress.

Vitamin C Protects Against Common Eye Disease

Making sure you get plenty of Vitamin C can help prevent eye diseases including:

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye clouds over. Regular intake of Vitamin C can help maintain the lens transparency and clarity.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is known as the ‘sneak thief of sight’ because the loss of vision is so gradual. Glaucoma is characterised by the progressive loss of optic nerve cells. It was once thought increased intraocular pressure in the eyeball caused glaucoma. It’s now known that not everyone with glaucoma has raised intraocular pressure. However, as far back as 1972 Italian scientists found that regular consumption of Vitamin C helped lower the intraocular pressure in the eyeball of people with glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects our central vision and is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. The highest risk factor for developing age-related macular degeneration is aging. Numerous studies have found that as we age we don’t eat as healthily as we should and that our diets may lack essential nutrients. Scientists know that people with a diet rich in Vitamin A foods such as dark green leafy vegetables are less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. It is now thought that a lack of Vitamin C may increase our risk of developing age-related macular degeneration too.

Eyes Need to Bathe in Vitamin C

In the most recent study cited above US scientists at Oregon Health and Science University found that nerve cells in the retina need to be ‘bathed’ in high doses of Vitamin C to function. This may be particularly important in treating many eye – and brain – diseases as retinal nerves are part of the central nervous system.

Vitamin C Foods

The best way to ensure you get plenty of Vitamin C is the eat a varied diet. Foods high in Vitamin C include:
 
• Red and green capsicum
 
• Strawberries
 
• Broccoli
 
• Tomatoes
 
• Citrus fruit
 
Vitamin C is essential for good eye health. Look after your eyes by eating foods rich with Vitamin C.
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Topic: Nutrition, Health Research

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