Zinc For Vision
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that’s important for the immune system and the brain, as well as other parts of the body. In infants, zinc deficiency can delay normal development. At any age, serious zinc deficiency can lead to risk of infections.
Zinc is believed to be important for vision because high levels of the mineral are found in the macula, part of the retina. Zinc enables vitamin A to create a pigment called melanin, which protects the eye. Some studies show that getting enough zinc can help you see better at night.
Zinc and Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), sponsored by the National Eye Institute, was a landmark study that established AMD as a ‘nutrition-responsive disorder.’ The study showed that a 40-80 mg/day intake of zinc, taken with antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C, slows the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration by about 25 percent and visual acuity loss by 19 percent in individuals at high-risk for the disease. Higher levels of zinc may interfere with copper absorption, which is why the AREDS study also included a copper supplement.