Is Zinc Good for Vision?

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.

How Does It Help?

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 slow the progessoin of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a change in eyesight that comes with age.

How much do you need? The recommended amount of zinc needly in your daily diet is 8 milligrams per day for women; 11 milligrams per day for men.

Are there any risks? Yes. Zinc can stop your body from absorbing copper. That’s why supplements that contain zinc usually have extra copper. You should get 2 milligrams per day of copper if you’re taking zinc supplements.

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.

What Foods Have Zinc?

  • Oysters (six) 74 milligrams
  • Beef (3 oz.) 7 milligrams
  • Lobster (3 oz.) 3.4 milligrams
  • Pork (3 oz.) 2.49 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

 

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carmen Patrick Mohan on May 12, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American Optometric Association, "Diet, Nutrition, and Eye Health."

Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute.

National Institutes of Health website: "NIH study provides clarity on supplements for protection against blinding eye disease."

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