What Makes A Great Vision Enhancer?
We Examine The Best Sight-Supporting Ingredients Around Today
The supplement industry is only just waking up to the possibility of natural vision enhancers. Few people realize just what can be accomplished with specific, targeted supplementation, a good diet, and regular exercise.
But such widespread ignorance means that misinformation, dubious science and clever marketing can easily lead you astray. There are so many supplements out there claiming to offer the most effective natural vision enhancers, it’s almost impossible to know what’s true and what’s not.
Everybody says that their supplement uses the ingredients with the most scientific backing. Everybody says other vision enhancers are bogus. But not everybody can be telling the truth!
That’s why we constantly pour over the scientific literature looking at the actual evidence behind common vision enhancer ingredients. We ignore all the hype and PR that supplement manufacturers throw at us, relying instead on robust scientific studies and comprehensive, independent user experiences.
To help you cut through the sales jargon and find the sight enhancing supplements that actually work, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective, reliable, and safe ingredients you are likely to find in commercially available supplements. You can find it below.
We’ve given you a brief overview of each ingredient, how it helps with your vision, and how effective it is relative to the others. We’ve told you what it does for vision specifically, and how much scientific proof there is that it works.
We keep this list regularly updated as new studies are published. If you think we’ve overlooked an important vision enhancer, let us know!
The Best Vision Enhancers (According To Science!)
Lutein is a carotenoid found naturally in many plants. It is particularly prevalent in vegetables such as kale, mustard greens, and spinach. Lutein is one of the most common vision enhancing substances you’ll come across while browsing through supplements on this site. There’s a good reason for that: it works!
Lutein is a real all-round vision enhancer. There is a lot of scientific evidence that it helps with contrast sensitivity, night time vision, and acute photo-stress recovery (getting back to normal after intense glare or flash). But the thing that most people use Lutein for, and the property for which it has the most scientific evidence, is its ability to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and cataracts.
As you’ll see from the cited studies, Lutein has the potential to significantly reduce the chances of experiencing degenerative eye conditions, which would by itself make it easily one of the best ingredients to include in a natural vision enhancer. When you realize that it can also help otherwise healthy eyes see better, then it becomes clear that this is a sight supplement gold standard.
Good For: Everything
Dose: ~ 10mg
Zeaxanthin is a very similar substance to Lutein, although it is worth mentioning separately. Like Lutein, is a yellow carotenoid found in many common fruits and vegetables. Also like Lutein, Zeaxanthin is found in high concentrations in the macular area of the eye. When you consume Zeaxanthin, it is in the macular region that Zeaxanthin naturally ends up.
As you might have guessed, the main reason Zeaxanthin is used is to guard against the range of eye conditions that result from degeneration in the macular region. Zeaxanthin is a major constituent of macular pigment; supplementing with Zeaxanthin can help ensure that this region of the eye remains healthy and robust.
Perhaps more interestingly, some studies have found that Zeaxanthin (and Lutein) may act as a kind of ‘internal filter’ for blue light within the eye. These are the major pigments in the yellow spot of the human retina. Blue light can easily damage this area over time (due to its wavelength and energy). Having high levels of Zeaxanthin and Lutein may counter this.
The best sources of Zeaxanthin are typically the best sources of Lutein: kale, spinach, peas, etc.
Good For: Protecting against age-related eye degeneration
Vitamin A is a vital nutrient for long term eye health and function. Whether it’s through maternal advice to eat your carrots or doctor’s orders to get on top of your supplements, this is something that many people know. They may not understand what specific role it plays in the eye. They mightn’t know how it benefits sight exactly. But a lot of people are aware that one of Vitamin A’s main benefits is improving eye-sight and preventing its degeneration. And they’re dead right!
Yet most people actually underestimate the important of Vitamin A for eye health and functionality.For instance, Vitamin A deficiency is currently the leading cause of preventable blindness in children WORLDWIDE. Vitamin A is also necessary for the production of rhodopsin; a pigment which allows us to see in low light conditions. On top of that, it seems that Vitamin A facilitates eye cell healing, and in a broader sense, prevents infection and damage.
Not something to miss out on if you care about your vision.
Vitamin A is a compound made up of retinol, retinoic acid, and various carotenoids. These individual components can be derived from numerous sources in the diet; retinol from beef liver, carotenoids from most fruits and vegetables (especially those colored green, yellow, orange and red).
Good For: Night vision and preventing infections
This is probably the ingredient that will be noticeably missing from low to mid-range vision enhancing supplements. Only high quality eye support stacks will utilize all the ingredients mentioned so far and provide a potent dose of anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins have been found to have a number of different properties which contribute to vision and eye health. In this study, patients given a purified dose of anthocyanins reported significant improvements in night vision and contrast sensitivity (objectively measured) after just 4 weeks. Perhaps more impressively, some anthocyanins have been found to induce micro-capillary formation and the synthesis of collagen fibrils. This will help keep the blood vessels in the eye robust and healthy, meaning better eye function in the short term and better eye health moving forward.
In short, these things are sight-enhancing powerhouses. A sub-category of anthocyanins called anthocyanosides seem to be the specific compounds involved in vision enhancement. Any supplement which standardizes for these specific compounds will be preferable (depending on overall dose of course).
Good sources of anthocyanins include dark blue fruits such as blueberries and bilberries. When you realize that anthocyanins are plant pigments, spotting good sources becomes easy. Bilberry seems to be the most potent source by weight. Luckily, these fruits also have an impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, which will also help with overall eye health.
Good For: Contrast sensitivity and blood vessel health
Dose: Anywhere from 25-250mg of plant extract depending on purity
Zinc is not as heavily involved in the functions of the eye as some of the other ingredients listed here. As such, it doesn’t have the same ability to enhance eye sight in otherwise healthy individuals. It doesn’t seem to improve vision relative to baseline.
However, zinc deficiency has been clearly linked to the onset of age-related macular degeneration. As the highly esteemed Age Related Eye Disease Study found, “high levels of antioxidants and zinc significantly reduce the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss. These same nutrients had no significant effect on the development or progression of cataract.” This is probably because Zinc is found in relatively large quantities in the retina.
Most people in the Western world are deficient in zinc to some degree, largely because of the dearth of nuts, seafood and leafy greens in the diet. Not only that, but levels of zinc in the body seem to decrease as we age (probably due to gradual dietary restriction). So supplementation with zinc is important, and it gets more important as we age.
Good For: Preventing eye problems in the future