Nutrition and the eye

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 1999 Dec;10(6):464-73. doi: 10.1097/00055735-199912000-00016.


The topic "nutrition and the eye" cannot adequately be covered in a single review article; indeed, dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written on the subject. This review concentrates on three areas in which specific nutrients are known or theorized to have a major impact on vision and the visual system: vitamin A deficiency; antioxidants and their proposed role in the prevention of age-related cataract and macular degeneration; and nutritional optic neuropathies, including those of the recent Cuban epidemic. In addition, this article touches on nutritional treatments that have been suggested for several less common eye diseases and, finally, considers several less prevalent conditions in which deficiency of or excess exposure to a particular nutrient has been associated with ocular pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Eye Diseases / metabolism
  • Eye Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Nutritional Support / methods*
  • Vitamins / metabolism
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins