Vitamin A 1a

Author - Frank Zhang (Optometrist)  

What is Vitamin A and what are its Eye Benefits?

It seems like everyone knows that carrots are good for your vision. What makes it so good and what is it about the Vitamin A in carrots that makes it good!

Vitamin A actually is a group of antioxidant compounds that not only plays a role in vision but also promotes bone growth and also helps with the immune system. 


Even though most people associate vitamin A comes from carrots, a range of other foods also contain significant amounts of vitamin A include beef, whole milk cheese, spinach, kale and sweet potatoes. So don’t just eat them carrots! 


Vitamin A has an incredible array of benefits for the eyes. It promotes tear film stability and can be used as a treatment of dry eyes. It has also been shown to reduce the incidence of advanced macular degeneration. It even has been shown to have a helping hand in some forms of corneal inflammation and also reduce advancing retinitis pigmentosa. 


Before you go ahead and stuff yourselves with 10 carrots and 2 scotch fillets to tackle the Vitamin A deficiency, there is also a thing known as vitamin A toxicity.  

Vitamin A 2a


Possible side effects of Vitamin A long term toxicity include liver abnormalities, birth defects and reduced bone density. However the good news is that Vitamin A that is from fruits and vegetables are mostly water soluble and thus very rarely cause toxicity as it can be easily excreted from the body. So just stick to them carrot juice and spinach! These are better options than relying on products such as Vitamin A eye drops or eye ointments which aren't as effective as your diet. 


In summary, Vitamin A provides many benefits for healthy vision, but eating carrots every day will not restore vision to 20/20. Optical deformities like astigmatism, conditions like strabismus and diseases like glaucoma cannot be corrected by eating Bugs Bunny’s food of choice. However it does ensure the best chance of healthy eyes. It is also interesting to know that some foods like medium baked sweet potatoes actually have higher concentration of vitamin A than carrots! 

By Frank Zhang

Optometrist at 1001 Optical. 

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