Nature has given us an array of ingredients that can revitalize and protect our vision. By taking the right supplements, you can improve circulation to the eyes, minimize symptoms of discomfort, and protect against the damaging processes that steal our vision.
We’ll rate eye supplements based on how helpful they are so that you know what to take.
The Most Important Thing About Eye Health: Self Defense
Before we jump into the best supplements to take for good eye health, you need to understand the main reason why these supplements protect and improve your vision: they fight damage to the eyes.
There are two main types of damage that compromise your vision over the years: oxidation and glycation.
You’ve probably heard the terms oxidation or oxidative stress. They refer to nasty trouble-making molecules that damage our cells and the proteins in our bodies (including in our eyes). These oxygen-containing molecules play a role in stealing our vision and causing structural damage to our eyes.
The other type of damage that harms our eyes is called glycation. This process involves the mutilation of proteins (and fats) that make up our eyes, skin, and all of our cells. It’s sugar doing the mutilation in this process. Put simply, sugar attaches to proteins in the lens of your eye and ruins them! The result is impaired vision and a damaged eye structure.
That being said, let’s look at the best ways to prevent this damage and help your eyes in other ways.
Eye Supplements Rated
Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant found naturally in leafy greens (along with some orange and red foods). When you eat lutein, it becomes part of your eye. It accumulates there (and that’s a good thing!) 1.
Lutein’s “extremely potent antioxidant action” helps protect against oxidative stress from eye light exposure 1,2.
Since lutein is such a crucial part of your eyes’ defenses, it makes sense that the more lutein you have in your eyes, the lower your chance of developing degenerative eye problems 3,4.
Recommended lutein products:
Carnosine is a mixture of two amino acids. Importantly, it helps prevent the proteins in your eyes from getting damaged and can prevent the changes that lead to cataracts 5. Sometimes, carnosine eye drops are used to protect and heal damage to the eyes. But oral carnosine supplements can also protect the eyes.
Carnosine prevents sugars and oxidative stress from mutilating your eyes 5! It is one of the most powerful anti-glycation supplements available.
Recommended carnosine products:
3. Vitamin C
Some eye supplements make use of vitamin C. Some initial research suggests higher vitamin C is associated with a lower chance of cataracts 20. It looks like it’s a helpful antioxidant in the fight against declining vision, but it hasn’t been studied much in relation to vision. More evidence is coming hopefully!
Recommended vitamin C products:
4. Bilberry Extract
Bilberry is an eye-health powerhouse and contains one of the highest amounts of eye-saving anthocyanin antioxidants of any berry. They’re popularly used to improve vision because they protect the eye from oxidative and glycation damage, and they improve blood flow to the eye 6,7,8,9.
Studies have shown that blueberries improve vision and uncomfortable eye symptoms such as “ocular fatigue sensation, ocular pain, eye heaviness, uncomfortable sensation,” and they improve eye moisturization 10,11.
Recommended bilberry products:
- Enzymatic Therapy Bilberry Extract
- Life Extension Standardized European Bilberry Extract
- Scandinavian Formulas, Strix, Bilberry Extract
Taurine is a critical antioxidant. It’s especially important for protecting the eyes, and it concentrates in high amounts in the eyes.12,13. It can lower oxidation in the eyes and is also known to minimize glycation damage 14,15.
Recommended taurine products:
6. Alpha Lipoic Acid
This is an important antioxidant that our bodies create. But sometimes this supplement helps because all the pollution and stress that comes with our modern lives can drain our bodies of antioxidants.
Alpha lipoic acid helps your body process sugar so that too much doesn’t build up in your blood and damage your eyes 16. Alpha lipoic acid has actually been shown to reduce damage in people’s eyes, and researchers suggest that it may “help prevent vision loss” 17.
Recommended alpha lipoic acid products:
7. Grape Seed Extract
Your eyes need good blood flow to stay healthy, and the seeds of grapes can help your with that. Grape seeds have powerful antioxidant effects on the circulatory system and help keep blood vessels free of clogging plaque 18. And like many other supplements, evidence shows that grape seed extract can help protect against damage by both glycation and oxidative stress to the retina of the eye 19.
Recommended grape seed extract products:
- Natural Factors Grape Seed Extract
- Life Extension Grapeseed Extract
- 21st Century Standardized Grape Seed Extract
Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant found naturally in some foods such as onions, apples, leafy greens, tea, and other foods. It is an effective antioxidant and evidence shows it to be a very powerful anti-glycation ingredient 21,22.
Quercetin helps eye cells survive and reduces the dangerous pressure in eyeballs that can damage ocular nerves 49.
Recommended quercetin products: