Eye Health: Lack of zinc can result in impaired vision, poor night vision and cloudy cataracts; get daily dose
By Dr. Dawn Stratton
Have you had your daily dose of zinc? That’s something you may have never or rarely been asked. I pose this question because zinc has a great deal to do with the health of our eyes.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral or “helper molecule” that plays a vital role in bringing vitamin A from the liver to the retina in order to produce melanin. Melanin is a protective pigment in the eyes. Zinc deficiency has been linked to:
• Impaired vision
• Poor night vision
• Cloudy cataracts
Other known effects of zinc deficiency include a loss of hair from eyebrows and eyelashes, along with mental sluggishness and increased susceptibility to infection.
Zinc is recommended for people diagnosed as being at high-risk for age-related macular degeneration, or already experiencing the early stages of AMD. Daily intake of zinc through diet, nutritional supplements, or fortified foods and beverages is important for the maintenance of good eye health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a dietary reference intake for zinc of 11 mg/day for males and 8 mg/day for females.
However, avoid taking high doses of zinc (beyond 100 mg daily) without first consulting a physician. While zinc is vital to our health in moderation, higher doses have been associated with adverse effects such as reduced immune function.
Good sources of zinc include:
• Red meat
• Oysters and other seafood
source: KY Forward