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Home » What’s New » Optometrist Insight: Carrots and Vision

Optometrist Insight: Carrots and Vision

Do carrots really enhance vision? While optometrists admit that the orange root vegetables are made up of large amounts of a beta-carotene that has proven to be very good for one's eyes, carrots can not take the place of suitable corrective eye care.

Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A once absorbed in the body. Vitamin A guards the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been proven to be preventative for a number of eye diseases such as macular degeneration. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, guards the cornea to reduce the risk of eye infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A is also known to be an effective solution for dry eyes as well as other eye disorders. A lack of vitamin A (which tends to exist more in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to blindness.

There are two types of vitamin A, which relate to the food source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal source 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 convert to retinol after the nutrients are digested. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful produce particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

There is no doubt that vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes and your overall well being. Even though carrots won't fix corneal refraction which causes vision impairments, grandma had it right when she said ''finish your carrots.''