Niacin, more commonly known as vitamin B3, has the principal responsibility of aiding the body in processing foods and converting them into energy. It also performs the functions of an antioxidant. Recently, various researchers have revealed that niacin plays a rather important role in shielding the eyes against the attacks of glaucoma, an eye condition that causes severe damage to the optic nerve.
A recently conducted observational research examined the nutrient intake of Korean adults, and examine their risk factors for developing glaucoma. The results revealed a direct association of between the onset of glaucoma and a low dietary consumption of niacin. Moreover, an animal-based research revealed that consuming high amounts of niacin supplements proved effective in shielding the eyes against the onset of glaucoma.
However, experts believe that is need of further research to establish a concrete association between niacin deficiency and the symptoms of glaucoma. And it is also important to consider that supplements must be taken with great care and caution, and only after consulting one’s doctor.
Research reveals that when niacin supplements are consumed in extremely high doses of around 1.5-5 grams each day, they lead to the development of certain side effects on the eyes, such as macular damage, cornea inflammation and blurry vision.
On the other hand, researchers believe that consuming large quantities of food items that contain rich concentrations of niacin does not have any side effects whatsoever. You can obtain high amounts of niacin naturally by adding more legumes, beef, fish, poultry, and mushrooms to your daily diet.
7. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are both members of the family of carotenoid, a group of extremely beneficial and effective substances that have been synthesized by the plants. These two powerful carotenoids are naturally present within the retina and the macula of our eyes, and they aid the eyes in filtering out the blue light that is potentially damaging, hence shielding the eyes against possible harm.
Various researchers have reported that these plant-based substances aid in shielding the eyes against the symptoms of cataracts, along with preventing and reducing the progression of AMD.
Another study attempted to examine the potential benefits of consuming lutein amongst patients suffering from cataracts in a controlled, observational study. After a period of two years, the results revealed that the patients who consumed supplements with 15 mg of lutein at least thrice a week experienced marked improvements in their vision and optical health.
Experts have not yet been able to discover much about daily consumption and safe doses of lutein and zeaxanthin supplements. But most health experts and researchers recommend the consumption of around 20 mg of lutein a day for a period of 6 months to enjoy its benefits without experiencing any side effects.
However, it is also important to understand that adding these nutrients to your diet doesn’t necessarily compel you to turn towards supplements. You can gain at least 6 mg of zeaxanthin and lutein a day to enjoy all its benefits by creating a mindful and rich diet consisting of fresh fruits and colourful vegetables. You can obtain rich concentration of these powerful carotenoids from kale, collard greens and cooked spinach. Add these vegies to your daily diet instead of supplements, and you can effortlessly reduce your risk factors of suffering from cataracts and AMD.