Carrots, carotene and seeing in the dark

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. Jun-Aug 1999;27(3-4):200-3. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1606.1999.00187.x.

Abstract

Should older people eat more carrots, or at least increase their carotene intake to prevent loss of night vision? Participants in the Blue Mountains Eye Study were asked about their ability to see in the dark. Nutrient and food intake were estimated from a food frequency questionnaire. Associations between self-reported poor night vision and estimated nutrient intake were investigated using logistic regression. Poor night vision among women was associated with higher beta-carotene (P for trend = 0.03) and total vitamin A intake (P for trend = 0.048). Increased consumption of carrots, but no other food high in beta-carotene, was associated with significant increased reporting of poor night vision among women (P for trend = 0.04). While carrot intake may protect against difficulty in seeing at night, it is probable that people attributing poor driving ability to their vision may be eating more carrots in the hope of reversing this decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Darkness*
  • Daucus carota*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Vitamin A / administration & dosage
  • beta Carotene / adverse effects*

Substances

  • beta Carotene
  • Vitamin A