Nutrients for Summer Eye Health

Spending time outside in the sunshine is one of the many wonders of summer, but neglecting skin protection could cause severe sunburn and ultimately lead to skin cancer. That’s why it’s so important to wear sunblock with a strong SPF level when you’re spending time in direct sunlight.

But have you ever thought about the potential risks that the sun poses on your eye health? Without proper care and protection, too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation could cause eye conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts and photokeratitis. Wearing protective eyewear, using goggles in the pool and staying hydrated are a few of the many ways you can take care of your eyes in the sun.

Additionally, a nutritional regimen that concentrates on eye health can complement your other summertime safeguards. Read on to learn about some of the vitamins you can take to keep your vision safe this summer:

Vitamin A and beta-carotene

To ensure your eyes remain in great health, add beta-carotene or vitamin A to your daily supplement regimen.

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A when it enters the body.  It has been shown to help slow the progression of eye conditions such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. It’s an antioxidant that can also protect the body from harmful free radicals that may lead to certain diseases.[1]

Lutein and zeaxanthin

According to the American Optometric Association, lutein and zeaxanthin are two powerful carotenoids located inside your eyes. Both help to filter out harmful high-energy light and neutralize free radicals that are often associated with oxidative stress and retinal damage.[2]

While these antioxidants are naturally consumed through the diet, the body doesn’t usually get enough to keep the eyes in top shape. Think about lutein and zeaxanthin as “internal sunglasses.” They can help reduce photochemical damage caused by short-wavelength visible light by increasing macular pigment optical density (MPOD) in your eyes. Macular pigment helps filter short-wavelength light and helps defend against free radicals in the macula. Lutein has been shown to help increase your eyes’ tolerance to bright lights, making it easier for your eyes to deal with exposure from sun glare and the harmful effects of bright sunlight during the summer. In a large clinical trial conducted by the National Eye Institute, supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin, in combination with other nutrients, was shown to help reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration later in life.[3]

Fortitech Premixes’ tech paper “Strategic Nutrition for Eye Health” offers additional, valuable consumer insights and tips on key nutrient combinations. Download the tech paper, or use our Solution Starter to tell us about the products you are interested in developing.