What Is the Best Vitamin to Take for Your Eyes?

Medically Reviewed on 6/2/2022
eye health
Learn the seven most important vitamins for eye health.

The diet that we consume acts as fuel for our body including our eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a nutrient-rich and healthy diet can certainly reduce the risk of eye issues, particularly those that appear later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts or conditions that are caused by deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals.

Research reports that a blend of vitamin and mineral supplements has a 25 percent lower risk of worsening AMD and other eye conditions.

7 most important vitamins for eye health

Seven most important vitamins for eye health include:

  1. Vitamin A (retinol):
    • It has antioxidant characteristics that help slow or reverse oxidative damage to the DNA and cells, which plays a critical role in many age-related conditions.
    • Several studies report that supplementing the diet with vitamin A may reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), leading to vision loss.
    • Extra vitamin A in the form of supplements is not advised because it can damage the liver cells.
    • It helps maintain a clear cornea (the covering of the eye) and produces pigments needed to see the full spectrum of light.
    • Vitamin A is a component of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that allows seeing in low light conditions (low-light vision).
    • The deficiency of vitamin A can cause xerophthalmia, a condition that damages the corneas and is a leading cause of preventable blindness.
    • Vitamin A can be included in the diet through foods such as:
      • Leafy green vegetables such as spinach 
      • Eggs
      • Pumpkins
      • Orange foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupes
  2. Vitamin C:
    • Similar to vitamin A, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of age-related eye disease and dry eye and protects from harmful free radicals.
    • Vitamin C is essential to make collagen, a protein that provides structure to the eyes, particularly in the cornea and sclera.
    • You can get vitamin C from the following:
      • Oranges
      • Kiwis
      • Grapefruit
      • Strawberries
      • Blackcurrants 
      • Tomatoes 
      • Red and green peppers
      • Broccoli
      • Kale
  3. Vitamin E:
    • It is a potent antioxidant that can help lower the risk of age-related eye damage, cataracts, and dry eye, especially when taken along with vitamins C, and beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A in the body), zinc, and copper.
    • It helps protect the eye cells from damage by harmful free radicals (unstable molecules).
    • Some vitamin-E-rich options include:
      • Nuts
      • Seeds
      • Enriched cooking oils
      • Salmon
      • Avocado
      • Leafy green vegetables
      • Germinated pulses
  4. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12:
    • This combination of vitamins can lower the levels of homocysteine, a protein that is associated with inflammation and an increased risk of AMD.
    • It helps prevent AMD and dry eyes.
    • Rich sources of vitamins B6, B9, and B12 include:
      • Salmon
      • Leafy greens
      • Sunflower seeds
      • Yogurt
      • Trout
      • Chicken
      • Turkey
      • Legumes
      • Oysters 
      • Eggs
      • Liver 
      • Avocado
      • Banana
  5. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin):
    • Vitamin B2 is an antioxidant that has the potential to reduce oxidative stress in the body, including the eyes.
    • Diets rich in riboflavin have been associated with a reduced risk of cataracts and damage to the lens of the eye.
    • You can get the recommended amount (1.1 to 1.3 mg/day) of riboflavin from the following:
      • Oats
      • Milk
      • Yogurt
      • Beef 
      • Fortified cereals
  6. Vitamin B3 (niacin):
    • Vitamin B3 acts as an antioxidant and helps convert food into energy.
    • Recent studies have reported that niacin may play a role in the prevention of glaucoma and prevents further damage to the optic nerve.
    • Consume foods naturally high in niacin such as:
      • Beef
      • Poultry
      • Fish
      • Mushrooms
      • Peanuts 
      • Legumes
  7. Vitamin B1 (thiamine):
    • Vitamin B1 plays a role in reducing the risk of cataracts and acts as a potential treatment for the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.
    • Food sources of thiamine include:
      • Whole grains
      • Meat 
      • Peas
      • Fish
      • Cauliflower
      • Fruits such as bananas and oranges
      • Fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, bread, and pasta


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Recommended daily intake of vitamins chart

Table 1. Recommended daily vitamin intake for good eye health
Vitamin Recommended daily dose
Vitamin A
  • Men: 700 µg
  • Women: 600 µg
Vitamin B1
  • Men: 1 mg
  • Women: 0.8 mg
Vitamin B2
  • Men: 1.3 mg
  • Women: 1.1 mg
Vitamin B3
  • Men: 16.5 mg
  • Women: 13.2 mg
Vitamins B6, B9, and B12


  • Men: 1.4 mg
  • Women: 1.2 mg


  • Adults: 200 µg


  • Adults: 1.5 µg
Vitamin C
  • Both men and women: 40 mg
Vitamin E
  • Men: 4 mg
  • Women: 3 mg

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 6/2/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Zawn Villines 5 Vitamins For Your Eye Health WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/lasik/vitamins-for-your-eye-health

Helen Korneffel Can Supplements Improve Eye Health and Vision? Michigan Health: https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/can-supplements-improve-eye-health-and-vision

Whitney Seltman Supplements for Vision and Healthy Eyes WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/vision-supplements