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Top 10 Best Vitamins & Supplements for Healthy Eyes

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedMay 29, 2024

Over half of American adults regularly take supplements, with vitamins and minerals for general health being highly popular. Getting vitamins for eye health through diet and supplementation provides meaningful benefits for maintaining healthy vision as we age.

Certain vitamins also provide meaningful benefits for maintaining proper vision and preventing age-related eye diseases. For instance, antioxidants help safeguard delicate eye tissues from damaging free radicals that can impair vision. Other minerals and beneficial nutrients for the eyes can also help prevent certain ocular conditions.

This article will explore the top 10 supplements and vitamins for eye health. We will look closely at their benefits, their side effects, and our recommended products.

Do Vitamins for the Eyes Really Work?

Supplements rich in vitamins for good eye health are particularly beneficial for individuals with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), as they can help decelerate the progression of this condition.

While there are indications that these vitamins might aid in managing other eye issues like retinal damage, dry eyes, eye pain, and cataracts, the supporting evidence remains limited. High doses of these vitamins and supplements help slow the progression of certain diseases but are not typically effective in preventing age-related eye conditions.

Still, eye health professionals generally recommend obtaining vitamins for good eye health through a well-balanced diet. Supplements, especially those with higher doses, are usually suggested only in cases of a dietary deficiency or a heightened risk of developing an eye disease.

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The 10 Best Vitamins & Supplements for Eye Health

1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in producing vital pigments that the retina requires to process the full spectrum of light. It keeps the eye's surface, including the cornea, well-nourished and adequately lubricated.

Vitamin A deficiency leads to reduced rhodopsin, which can cause night blindness, potentially leading to xerophthalmia. Lack of Vitamin A dries out the eyes and tear ducts, eventually softening the cornea and risking irreversible blindness.

Additionally, adequate dietary Vitamin A has been associated with a lower risk of eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

See prices for Bronson Vitamin A 10,000 IU on Amazon

Taking vitamin A supplements, like this one from Bronson, is also a good way of keeping your eyes healthy. As a brand trusted since 1960, Bronson stands out for its commitment to delivering pure, scientifically-backed vitamins.

The product is presented as Vitamin A palmitate, a fat-soluble variant, making it especially beneficial for eye and skin health. This easy-to-swallow, rapid-release soft gel is part of Bronson's extensive line of Vitamin A supplements, catering to various health needs.

Each soft gel capsule contains 10,000 IU of Vitamin A, equivalent to 3000 mcg. It comes in a 250-pack bottle, priced at around $10.

Pros

  • Aids in healthy skin, eyes, hair, nerve, liver, and gastrointestinal muscle tone
  • Each soft gel delivers 10,000 IU of Vitamin A, suitable for those needing a higher dosage
  • The product is laboratory tested and certified Non-GMO, appealing to health-conscious consumers

Cons

  • Excessive intake may lead to hypervitaminosis A
  • May interact with certain medications

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps protect eye health, especially against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

A study indicated its potential to guard against AMD. Its antioxidant properties defend eye cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, unstable molecules that can deteriorate healthy tissue.

Another study also suggested that consuming diets high in Vitamin E may also help prevent age-related cataracts.

However, these studies still need more research as other studies also show no association between vitamin E and these conditions, which requires more targeted research.

See prices for Nature Made Vitamin E 180 mg (400 IU) on Amazon

Opting for vitamin E supplements like this one from Nature Made is also a good way to get vitamin E for your eyes. Sourced from high-quality ingredients, these softgels are gluten-free and free from added color, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Nature Made Vitamin E softgels provide a substantial 300-day supply of antioxidant support in each bottle. Each soft gel delivers 180 mg (400 IU) of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body and boosts the immune system.

Adults should take one soft gel daily with water and a meal for optimal benefits. One bottle contains 300 softgels of Vitamin E with 400 IU each, for around $19.

Pros

  • Vitamin E content protects against age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Antioxidant properties shield eye cells from free radical damage
  • Helps neutralize free radicals and supports a healthy immune system
  • Gluten-free, no color added, no artificial flavors, and no added preservatives

Cons

  • Fat-soluble vitamin, which means excess accumulation is possible, requiring monitoring of intake
  • Those on blood-thinning medication should exercise caution for drug interactions

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cataracts. It also helps slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and loss of visual acuity.

This is supported by a study where a daily intake of over 490 mg of vitamin C led to a 75% lower risk of cataract development than 125 mg or less.

Beyond its protective effects, vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, an important protein that maintains the structure of the eye, especially in the cornea and sclera.

See prices for Nature Made Vitamin C 500 mg on Amazon

We recommend this one from Nature Made for those opting for vitamin C supplements for eye health. Nature Made Vitamin C 500 mg caplets with rose hips provide a 130-day supply of immune support in each bottle.

These caplets cost around $8 and are designed to bolster immune health and offer antioxidant support. Adults are recommended to take one 500 mg caplet daily with water and a meal to reap the benefits.

Pros

  • Contains vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of cataracts
  • Slows the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss
  • Essential for collagen production, crucial for eye structure maintenance

Cons

  • High doses can sometimes lead to digestive discomfort
  • May cause kidney stones in very high doses

4. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12

B Vitamins are essential for eye health, especially when taken together. They lower homocysteine levels in the blood, which is important because high homocysteine levels can interfere with some parts of the eye, like the cornea and retina. Homocysteine can also affect vascular structures of the eye, leading to conditions like retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

See prices for Bronson Super B Vitamin B Complex on Amazon

Get these vitamins by supplementing with tablets, such as the Bronson Super B, for only around $19 per bottle.

Bronson's Super B Complex Vitamin offers a comprehensive blend of all essential B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, Folic Acid, B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid. This potent formula is laboratory tested and is non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free, accommodating a range of dietary preferences and needs.

This supplement's unique sustained release mechanism allows for a gradual release of B vitamins over 6-8 hours. This slow dispersion helps maintain steady and balanced energy levels throughout the day, preventing the spikes and crashes often associated with standard supplements.

With a powerful blend of 100 tablets per bottle, this supplement is convenient to ensure you’re meeting your daily B vitamin needs.

Pros

  • Includes all essential B vitamins for comprehensive health support
  • Provides a steady flow of nutrients over 6-8 hours, supporting prolonged energy and well-being
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, and soy-free

Cons

  • Some individuals may experience sensitivity to certain B vitamins
  • The tablet might be large for some, potentially affecting ease of swallowing

5. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in reducing the risk of macular degeneration. Research indicates taking omega-3s lowers the chance of developing this condition by 30%.

Omega-3s are vital in combating dry eye syndrome by enhancing tear production and supporting the eye's outer oily layer. They are essential for the proper visual development and functioning of the retina, with a study highlighting their importance for optimal visual growth in both preterm and full-term infants by age two and a half.

See prices for NatureWise Omega-3 1000 mg on Amazon

NatureWise also offers a reliable omega-3 supplement for obtaining omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the eyes.

The Omega-3 1,000mg Plus Vitamin E supplement is a carefully formulated product designed to support various aspects of health. This unique combination of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E offers a range of benefits for heart health, cognitive function, joint comfort, vision protection, and immune system performance.

Each capsule contains an optimal dose of 600 mg EPA and 400 mg DHA, ensuring your body receives a balanced and effective amount of these essential nutrients. It is available in a 180-day supply bottle for around $33.

Pros

  • When combined with Vitamin E, it provides enhanced cognitive benefits
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in decreasing ocular eye pressure, which can help prevent glaucoma
  • Omega-3 aids in maintaining healthy eyes and reducing the risk of age-related vision problems, while Vitamin E protects eye structures from oxidative damage

Cons

  • Consistent daily intake is necessary for effective results
  • Not for those allergic to soybeans, fish, or shellfish

6. Zinc

Zinc is a vital mineral in the macula, an essential retina component. It helps convert vitamin A into melanin, a pigment that safeguards the eyes.

A zinc deficiency can lead to diminished night vision, as it's key in the function of enzymes that operate in low-light conditions. Research has indicated that when zinc is combined with antioxidant vitamins, it may effectively slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a prevalent visual impairment that occurs with aging.

See prices for Nature’s Bounty Zinc 50 mg on Amazon

They can also get zinc to maintain healthy eyes by taking zinc supplements, such as this one from Nature’s Bounty. Nature’s Bounty Zinc caplets provide a potent immune support system, each containing 50 mg of zinc in a 250-supply bottle, which one may purchase for around $9.

Pros

  • Contains zinc, which may help maintain the health of the eye’s retina and cell membranes, and keep the protein structure of the eyes
  • Gluten-free, sugar-free, no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and suitable for vegetarians
  • Acts as an antioxidant, supporting overall health

Cons

  • The high Zinc content may not be necessary or beneficial for everyone
  • Some individuals may be sensitive to ingredients or the high zinc content

7. Riboflavin

Riboflavin helps the front part of the cornea absorb and focus ultraviolet light. Lack of Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, has been connected to abnormal blood vessel growth in the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye that absorbs and focuses ultraviolet light.

This deficiency also appears to heighten the risk of cataract development because it's necessary to renew glutathione, an antioxidant that keeps the eye tissues healthy.

Research indicates that individuals with a high riboflavin intake are about 33% to 51% less likely to develop age-related cataracts than those with minimal riboflavin consumption.

See prices for Forest Leaf Riboflavin 400 mg on Amazon

For individuals who prefer to take riboflavin supplements for eye health, Forest Leaf is a good choice. It contains 2-packs of a 90-supply of 400 mg riboflavin tablets, available for around $27. The supplement is non-GMO and gluten-free, making it suitable for various dietary preferences.

Pros

  • Also aids in respiratory, circulatory health, energy production, and migraine relief
  • Contains a clinically studied dose of 400 mg of riboflavin
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Easy to swallow, tasteless, vegetarian capsules for ease of consumption

Cons

  • May cause allergic reactions in some individuals
  • May cause urine to become bright yellow

8. Niacin

Niacin, known as Vitamin B3, is an antioxidant that helps convert food into energy.

Recent research found that taking high doses of niacin may help decrease the risk of developing glaucoma, a condition that increases pressure within the eye, leading to damage of the optic nerve and eventually blindness.

However, taking niacin in excess can cause damage to the eyes, including blurry vision and corneal inflammation. So, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional before starting high-dose niacin supplementation.

See prices for Dr. Clark Niacin Supplement on Amazon

Another way to support eye health through niacin is by taking niacin supplements. Dr. Clark offers a bottle of 100-day supply of 25 mg niacin capsules, which costs around $22. It's free from manufacturing agents, coatings, colorings, binders, and release agents.

Pros

  • Niacin content may help reduce the risk of glaucoma
  • Contains no unnecessary additives, focusing on the essential nutrients
  • Designed to minimize environmental impact

Cons

  • Niacin may cause a hot flush, temporary warming, and reddening of the skin
  • Advisable to consult a healthcare provider before use, especially for those with specific health conditions or concerns

9. Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin, concentrated in the retina and macula, act as antioxidants to protect eyes from free radicals and blue light. This means that they may help reduce long-term eye health deterioration.

A study found that eating more antioxidants, like lutein and zeaxanthin, can greatly lower the risk of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD), especially in people with genetic risk factors for this eye condition.

See prices for Physician’s Choice Eye Health on Amazon

A good supplement is Physician’s Choice, which contains 20 mg lutein and 4 mg zeaxanthin. A bottle contains 60 vegetarian capsules. It costs around $22.

The Physician’s Choice Eye Health Supplement is a comprehensive formula for optimal eye health and vision. It contains a blend of ingredients based on the AREDS 2 study, including clinically proven lutemax (lutein), zeaxanthin, bilberry extract, and essential vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, E, B12, folate, zinc, and copper.

This supplement is specifically crafted to address various aspects of eye health as we age, including eye strain, dry eyes, and protection against blue light exposure.

Pros

  • AREDS 2-based formula that contains ingredients proven to support eye health.
  • Aids in the support of overall eye health, reducing eye strain and dryness, and offers protection from blue light
  • Features 20 mg of lutein and 4 mg of zeaxanthin in a 5:1 ratio, with black pepper extract for enhanced absorption

Cons

  • Some users might find the capsules large or difficult to swallow
  • Requires regular intake for sustained benefits

10. Thiamine

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, helps maintain proper cell function. It potentially helps reduce the risk of developing cataracts. This was shown in a study that found a higher intake of Thiamine resulted in a 40% less likelihood of developing cataracts.

Another study suggested that using thiamine helped repair the nerve layer of the cornea. Combined with cyanocobalamin, it may help relieve eye pain, dryness, and light sensitivity.

See prices for Nutricost Vitamin B1 100mg on Amazon

A good thiamine supplement for the eyes is Nutricost. It’s a 120-day supply of 100 mg of thiamine in a bottle for $9. Each bottle contains 120 capsules, each serving providing 100mg of high-quality Vitamin B1.

This supplement is especially useful for those who may not get sufficient thiamine from their diet, which typically includes whole grains, legumes, and certain meats and fish.

The product is non-GMO and gluten-free, catering to various dietary needs and preferences. The main ingredient, thiamine mononitrate, is complemented by rice flour and a gelatin capsule, making it easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Pros

  • Each capsule contains 100 mg of Vitamin B1, providing a significant boost to your daily intake
  • Made in a GMP Compliant and FDA Registered Facility, ensuring high standards
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free, suitable for a wide range of dietary requirements
  • Designed for easy consumption with water

Cons

  • May cause side effects to those allergic to gelatin capsules
  • Could interact with certain medications or medical conditions, so consultation with a healthcare professional is advised
  • Requires proper storage to maintain potency and avoid degradation

The Bottom Line

While many quality vitamins and supplements support eye health, Bronson’s Vitamin A 10,000 IU softgels offer an optimal choice. With 10,000 IU of Vitamin A per tiny, easy-to-swallow softgel, Bronson delivers this eye-saving nutrient in a potent yet gentle form.

While additional research is still needed, current evidence strongly suggests that meeting daily vitamin requirements benefits eye health in important ways, helping maintain clear, comfortable vision well into old age.

It’s always best to work closely with eye doctors and vision care specialists to ensure safe, effective vitamin regimens that meet individual eye care needs.

FAQs on the Best Vitamins & Supplements for Healthy Eyes

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Can I restore my 20/20 vision naturally?

While there is no way to restore 20/20 vision naturally, individuals may improve their eyesight by practicing methods like eye massages, relaxation strategies, and regular eye exercises. While these natural approaches can offer some benefits, their effectiveness is often limited and tends to vary, usually helping only a select few individuals.

How often should one take vitamins for eye health?

The correct way of taking vitamins for healthy eyes is by checking the label of the specific vitamin or supplement you’re taking. Take only what the manufacturer recommends, but if you have consulted your doctor, follow their recommended dose.

Can vitamins reverse vision loss from diabetes?

Taking supplements cannot reverse vision loss, but may help reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and also slowing its progression. This is why later stages of diabetes need to be treated immediately, especially if there are vision changes.

Can vitamins for eye health correct astigmatism?

Individuals with astigmatism can correct their vision by using prescription eyewear. Taking vitamins will only aid with astigmatism, especially in its early stages.

Do vitamins for eye health prevent pink eye infections?

It may be possible to prevent viral conjunctivitis with natural remedies. Probiotics and a diet high in vitamins A, K, C, and B may enhance eye health and prevent infection.