Is Zinc Good for Vision?

Medically Reviewed by Whitney Seltman, OD on September 01, 2023
2 min read

Zinc is essential for eye health. This mineral is also important for your immune system, brain, and other body parts. Babies who don’t get enough of it may not develop the way they should. A serious lack at any age can make you more likely to get an infection.

You have high levels of the mineral in your macula, part of the retina. Zinc helps vitamin A create a pigment called melanin, which protects your eye. Though zinc deficiency makes seeing at night more difficult, zinc supplementation does not necessarily help you see better at night)

There is some evidence that zinc supplements, when used in combination with antioxidant vitamins, slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a change in eyesight that comes with age.

How much do you need? The recommended amount of zinc needed in your daily diet is 8 milligrams per day for women; 11 milligrams per day for men.Pregnant women should get 11 milligrams a day and those nursing need 12 milligrams a day.

Are there any risks? Yes. Large amounts of zinc can stop your body from absorbing copper. That’s why supplements that contain zinc usually have extra copper. 

Zinc can also stop some antibiotics from working the way they should. And it might give you an upset stomach. Talk to your doctor before you take zinc supplements.

  • Oysters (six) 74 milligrams
  • Beef (3 oz.) 7 milligrams
  • Lobster (3 oz.) 3.4 milligrams
  • Pork (3 oz.) 2.9 milligrams
  • Yogurt (1 cup) 1.7 milligrams
  • Zinc fortified breakfast cereal (3/4 cup) 3.8 milligrams
  • Baked beans, canned, plain or vegetarian (1/2 cup) 2.9 milligrams
  • Cashews, dry roasted ( oz.) 1.6 milligrams