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

Optometrist Insight: Carrots and Vision

Can carrots really enhance eyesight? While optometrists affirm that carrots are made up of large quantities of a vitamin that has proven to be beneficial for the eyes, carrots can not replace suitable corrective eye care.

Beta-carotene is an orange colored pigment (carotenoid) that converts into vitamin A once absorbed in the human body. Vitamin A helps to guard the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been determined to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, protects the cornea to reduce the risk of eye infections and other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be a successful treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye disorders. A lack of this important vitamin (which tends to be more common in underdeveloped countries) often causes night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.

There are two variations of vitamin A, which relate to the food source they come from. Retinol is vitamin A derived from an animal origin such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is fruit and vegetable-derived exists in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the nutrients are absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids can be found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and cantaloupes.

It is proven that vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes and your overall well being. Even though carrots themselves can't correct near or far-sightedness, mother had it right when she said ''eat your vegetables.''