Benefits of Vitamin E for Eyes and Vision

Nuts and seeds are tasty snacks. They likewise are exceptional sources of vitamin E and minerals such as zinc that help keep your eyes healthy and might reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that assists protect membranes of cells throughout the body versus damage caused by metabolic spin-offs called free radicals. Hazardous complimentary radicals in the body also can arise from exposure to environmental pollutants, including cigarette smoke.

The term “vitamin E” describes not just one substance, but a group of eight compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active type of vitamin E.

Vitamin E and Eye Health

Natural types of vitamin E for eye health are designated with a “d-” prefix (d-alpha-tocopherol, for example); artificial vitamin E has a “dl-” prefix (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Natural vitamin E (the “d” forms) is more useful for your eyes and body than synthetic (” dl”) vitamin E.

Eye Benefits Of Vitamin E

Research suggests vitamin E may help reduce the worsening of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among people who reveal early signs of the eye disease.

In the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) involving nearly 5,000 people, participants with early AMD had a 25 percent lower risk of developing advanced stages of the disease when taking a day-to-day dietary supplement containing vitamin E The AREDS supplement consisted of 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin E, as well as high levels of vitamin A (as beta-carotene), vitamin C and zinc.

Based on AREDS and other nutritional studies, numerous eye doctors suggest that their patients supplement their diet with a day-to-day multivitamin which contains as much as 400 IU of vitamin E in combination with other antioxidants as part of their preventative eye care.

Some research studies recommend vitamin E likewise may play a role in avoiding cataracts:

  • In a big, long-lasting study of more than 3,000 adults (ages 43 to 86) in Wisconsin, five-year risk for cataracts was 60 percent lower among people who reported using multivitamins or any supplement consisting of vitamin E or vitamin C for more than 10 years, compared to nonusers.
  • In a 2008 research study that examined the dietary consumption of more than 35,000 female health experts, women whose diets (consisting of supplements) had the highest levels of lutein and vitamin E had a lower relative risk of cataracts than women whose diets were in the lowest 20 percent for levels of these nutrients.

However, a recent research study of obviously healthy older men in the United States cannot show any advantage of vitamin E supplementation in the avoidance of cataracts.

More than 11,000 men ages 50 and older (African-American individuals) or 55 and older (all other individuals) took an everyday vitamin E supplement (400 IU of dl-alpha-tocopherol) or a placebo tablet for approximately 5 and a half years. At the end of the study period, there was no considerable distinction in the variety of cataract medical diagnoses or cataract surgical treatments performed amongst individuals of the two groups.

It appears more research is needed to totally understand the potential eye benefits of vitamin E– particularly in concerns to whether vitamin E supplements can decrease the risk of cataracts.

Vitamin E Foods

How much vitamin E do you need for good vision? The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults and children of ages 14 or older is 15 mg daily– the equivalent of 22.5 IU. For women who are breastfeeding, the RDA is 19 mg (28.5 IU). As is true with vitamins A and C, if you smoke, you need to plan to take in additional vitamin E.

Sunflower seeds and nuts are amongst your best sources of vitamin E. Here’s a sampling of foods that are high in E:

Food Serving d-alpha-tocopherol (IU)
Cereal (Whole Grain Total brand) 3/4 cup 20.2
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 12.5
Almonds 1 ounce (24 nuts) 11.1
Spinach, frozen (boiled; drained) 1 cup 10.1
Hazelnuts 1 ounce 6.4
Mixed nuts (with peanuts) 1 ounce 4.6
Avocado (California) 1 medium 4.0
Peanuts (dry roasted) 1 ounce (28 nuts) 3.3
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22

Vitamin E Side Effects

Due to the fact that vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can collect in the body and potentially cause undesirable side effects if ingested in high amounts.

For safety, the bearable upper consumption level of natural vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) for adults is 1,500 IU. (The bearable upper consumption level for vitamins is developed by the Institute of Medicine within the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.)

But the maximum safe daily dosage of vitamin E for some people may be considerably lower. In a study released in 2011, men age 50 or older who were taking 400 IU of vitamin E (all alpha-tocopherol acetate) day-to-day showed an increased risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to healthy men of the same age not taking the supplement.

Also, if consumed in very high doses, vitamin E can interfere with the body’s blood clotting capability, posing a risk to people taking blood slimmers for particular health conditions.

Before supplementing your diet with vitamin E or any other vitamins or minerals, make certain to talk about the potential benefits and risks of nutritional supplements with your eye care company and basic doctor.

Minerals That Help Your Body Absorb Antioxidants

Your eyes can use some minerals too. Essential minerals for your eyes consist of zinc and selenium.

Zinc helps your body take in vitamin An as well as assists lots of antioxidant enzymes in your body decrease the variety of complimentary radicals. Zinc has actually been shown to protect versus macular degeneration and night blindness.

Good food sources of zinc include oysters and other seafood, beef, eggs, black-eyed peas, tofu and wheat germ.

Nevertheless, avoid taking high dosages of zinc (beyond 100 mg everyday) without first speaking with a physician. While zinc is vital to our health in moderation, higher dosages have actually been connected with adverse impacts such as reduced immune function.

Selenium is a mineral that assists your body to soak up vitamin E. Good food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, oysters and other seafood.

Reyus Mammadli (Eyexan Team Leader) / author of the article
Bachelor in biomedical and electrical apparatus and systems. For more than 20 years he has been studying methods to improve health using affordable and safe methods. Collaborates with eye care charity organization of the CCP. Specialization is a vision correction by laser surgery, including LASIK.
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
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