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Home » What's New » Eye Doctor Insight: Carrots and Eyesight

Eye Doctor Insight: Carrots and Eyesight

 

Can carrots really improve your eyesight? While eye doctors affirm that carrots are made up of large amounts of a beta-carotene which is known to be beneficial for your eyes, carrots can not substitute for proper corrective eye care.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A once absorbed in the body. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to prevent certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, protects the cornea to reduce the frequency of ocular infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful treatment for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which tends to exist more in poor and developing countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.

There are two forms of vitamin A, which depend upon the nutritional source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is obtained from produce exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which are converted to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful produce such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes as well as your overall well being. Although carrots can't correct near or far-sightedness, mother was right when she advised ''eat your carrots.''

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