Can taking vitamin A improve eyesight?

Can taking vitamin A improve eyesight?


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that plays an important role in your body and can be found in foods and supplements.

Vitamin A supplements

Consult your doctor if you plan on taking vitamin A supplements.

Functions of this vitamin In Your Body

One of the best-known functions is its role in eye health and vision. 

Retinal, the active form of vitamin A, combines with the protein opsin to produce rhodopsin, a molecule vital for colour vision and low light vision [4].  Furthermore, vitamin A safeguards and sustains the cornea, which is the outermost layer of your eye, and the conjunctiva, a thin membrane that encapsulates the surface of your eye and the inside of your eyelids [5]. 

The Mayo Clinic claims that Vitamin A has some antioxidant characteristics.

Also, the Harvard Health Publishing mentioned that antioxidants help reverse or slow down oxidative damage to your DNA and cells. 

Based on a 2019 article published in Nutrients, various small randomised controlled trials suggest that supplementing with antioxidant vitamins may reduce the vulnerability of someone to age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of vision loss. However, the results are not conclusive. The same article stated that other larger trials have found no difference between groups that supplement in Vitamin A and those that do not. 

That being said, Vitamin A has been found to benefit eye health. Studies depict that higher blood levels of beta carotene, alpha carotene, and beta cryptoxanthin may reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration by up to 25% [5]. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology asserts that vitamin A facilitates pigment production in your eyes that make it possible to see the full spectrum of light. Moreover, Vitamin A sustains other parts of your eye.

On the other hand, a lack of Vitamin A can lead to xerophthalmia, a condition that damages your corneas. Xerophthalmia is the leading cause of preventable blindness, as claimed by a 2019 article published in StatPearls [1]. For general eye health, vitamin-A rich foods are recommended by nutritionists over supplements. Examples of  vitamin-A rich foods include sweet potatoes, bell peppers, eggs, and orange foods like carrots and leafy green vegetables [2]. 

Do you need Vitamin-A supplements? 

Undoubtedly, vitamin deficiencies, such as a lack of vitamin A, can lead to eye problems. The question remains whether you should take vitamin-A supplements to enhance your diet. 

If your diet has enough Vitamin-A rich foods, you do not need to take supplements. Conversely, if your diet is lacking Vitamin A, your doctor may recommend supplements. Eye doctor Richard Gans (MD) has claimed that there is little evidence linking vitamin supplements to increased eye health. 

Furthermore, if you suffer from age-related macular degeneration, you have to consult your doctor if supplements are suitable at all in the first place. This is because no vitamins have been proven to prevent this eye disease [3]. Sign up for your eye appointment if you have not done so.


[1] “5 vitamins for Your Eye Health,” WebMD. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 11-Aug-2022]. 

[2] M. M. MS, “The 9 most important vitamins for eye health,” Healthline, 25-Jul-2018. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 11-Aug-2022]. 

[3] F. H. Team, “Should you take vitamins for eye health?,” Cleveland Clinic, 08-Aug-2022. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 11-Aug-2022]. 

[4] C. Lenahan, R. Sanghavi, L. Huang, and J. H. Zhang, “Rhodopsin: A potential biomarker for neurodegenerative diseases,” Frontiers, 01-Jan-1AD. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 11-Aug-2022]. 

[5] J. Kubala, “Vitamin A,” Healthline, 06-Apr-2022. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 11-Aug-2022]. 






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