Vitamin & Nutrition Corner: Are carrots really good for your eyes?

We all have heard that eating carrots is good for the eyes, but is this really true?    Can carrots make your eyes healthier?   Can carrots make your vision better?

Yes, yes, and no.

Carrots’ claim to fame is beta-carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A.     Click here to see my earlier blog post on Vitamin A, but in summary Vitamin A is essential for your retina to function properly.  It combines with proteins in your retinal cells that are responsible for absorbing light, especially during night vision.     A lack of Vitamin A would result in diminished or delayed visual ability to adapt during low light conditions, aka night blindness.

But, Vitamin A also serves as an antioxidant within the retina to reduce chemical stress and it was part of the National Eye Institute’s formula of vitamins used in its landmark study on Macular Degeneration.   That anti-oxidant property also plays an important role in regulating the tear-film or moisture layer on the front surface of the eyes.

However, Vitamin A won’t reduce a person’s near-sightedness or far-sightedness.   Unfortunately, eating a bag of carrots every morning won’t spell the end to glasses and contact lenses but it can make yours healthier.   And in the end, healthy eyes are the goal in order to maintain your vision for the long haul.

Here’s a video from Bill Nye The Science Guy regarding the same question: