Eye supplements are nutritional products that contain vitamins and other nutrients that research has shown to be beneficial for maintaining eye health and good vision.
As their name suggests, eye supplements are designed to add to, not replace, nutrients you get from a healthful diet. Taking dietary supplements cannot completely make up for serious nutritional shortcomings of a poor diet and too much junk food, which are associated with many serious health problems, including vision loss.
Generally, you will save money when choosing vision supplements if you purchase a multivitamin, rather than buying each vitamin and nutrient separately. Popular eye multivitamins include:
• ICaps (Alcon)
• PreserVision AREDS 2 Formula + Multivitamin (Bausch + Lomb)
• Oculair (Biosyntrx)
• Macular Health Formula (EyeScience)
There are many other brands as well. When choosing eye supplements, make sure you read their labels carefully and follow these guidelines:
1. Check for an expiration date to make sure the supplement you are purchasing is fresh. Make sure the seal on the bottle has not been broken.
2. Check the serving size. Do you need to take only one tablet, or do you need to take two or more each day to get the percentages of the Daily Value of each ingredient listed?
“Daily Value” or “DV” is a basis for labeling nutrient content that the FDA began to require of food processors and manufacturers in the 1990s. It is not necessarily a recommended intake, since it is based on general measurements of the population at large, and different people require different amounts of nutrients.
3. Capsules often are absorbed better than hard tablets and may cause less stomach upset.
4. The best eye supplements contain quality ingredients that have high bioavailability, meaning your body can absorb them easily. For example, the natural form of vitamin E (D-alpha-tocopherol) is roughly twice as active in the human body as the artificial form (DL-alpha-tocopherol).
5. Avoid eye supplements that contain dairy products, corn or wheat as fillers, especially if you have allergies or other intolerance problems. The most reputable companies typically will formulate their supplements without unnecessary fillers.
To make sure you are getting a reputable brand, choose one of the popular eye supplements listed above or consult your eye doctor. Nutritionists and knowledgeable nutrition store clerks are also good sources of information.
While dietary supplements, including eye supplements, generally are safe and beneficial, you should follow a few precautions. If you are pregnant or nursing or are taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants), speak to your doctor before using any type of nutritional supplements.
Even though vision supplements are a non-prescription item, do not exceed the dosage instructions on the bottle, to reduce the risk of toxicity or drug reactions.