Research Shows Adults Over 50 Not Getting the Nutrients Necessary for Eye Health

Variety of organic vegetables and fruits In our efforts to promote healthy eyes in our BFS community, we use Connected Visions to share current research findings on nutrition and its impact on eye health. A 2013 survey shows us that most Americans over age 50 are not getting the essential nutrients they need for healthy eyes. This segment of the population also lacks awareness of how critical good nutrition is to eye health.

The most important nutrients for eye health, particularly for older adults, include:

  • Vitamins C and E
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc
  • Omega-3 fatty acids eicosahexaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Data published in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging revealed that most Americans fall below the recommended intake of these nutrients that are so essential for healthy eyes. Researchers uncovered a belief among this age group that these essential dietary nutrients were not helpful for either preventing eye diseases or for improving or maintaining good vision. They note that scientific research has shown the opposite to be true and emphasize the importance for all older adults to obtain sufficient amounts of these nutrients in their diet or through supplements in order to protect and maintain eye health.

These conclusions are supported by the AREDS II study, an extensive long-term study conducted by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Adults who supplemented with the essential nutrients making up the AREDS formulation reduced the risk of serious eye disease related to aging. Experts recommend obtaining essential nutrients through diet but supplements may also be used to ensure that adequate intake levels are met and to compensate for shortfalls.

Keep checking back with us as we share more eye health and nutrition information throughout the coming months. We’ll be highlighting more of these dietary essentials and discussing ways to incorporate them into your daily life.