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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » Truth or Myth: Do Carrots Really Improve your Eyesight?

Truth or Myth: Do Carrots Really Improve your Eyesight?

We have all been told that carrots help you see better, but is this really true? Eye doctors say that the orange vegetable can't actually improve your eyesight. However, carrots do contain significant quantities of beta-carotene, a vitamin that is beneficial for your eye health and therefore eating carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods is definitely a recommendation for proper eye health.

Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, or orange pigment that converts into vitamin A once digested in the human body. Vitamin A strengthens the cornea, or surface of the eye, and has been determined to prevent various eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, an antioxidant compound, guards the surface of the eye to decrease the risk of ocular infections as well as other infectious diseases. Vitamin A has also shown to be an effective solution for dry eyes and other eye disorders. A deficiency of vitamin A (which tends to be more common in underdeveloped countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can contribute to total blindness.

There are two forms of vitamin A, which relate to the nutritional source from which they come. Vitamin A originating from an animal is called Retinol and can be found in foods such as beef, chicken liver, whole milk or cheese. Vitamin A that is derived from produce comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which break down to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.

It is proven that through most forms, vitamin A is beneficial to your eyes as well as your total health. Even though carrots won't fix optical distortion which causes vision impairments, mother had it right when she said ''eat your carrots.''