The 6 Best Eye Vitamin Supplements of 2020

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Eyes are one of the important organs of the human body, but they are also often the most-ignored when we talk about health and fitness.

A complex and delicate organ, the eye requires a variety of nutrients to function properly and remain healthy. These nutrients not only help maintain a clear vision but also prevent age-related deterioration of the organ (1, 2, 3).

Many times, our diet needs to be supplemented with such nutrients as well. AREDS (Age-related eye disease studies) by the National Eye Institute (NEI) also recommends the intake of specially-formulated AREDS and AREDS2 supplements for eyes (4, 5).

The regular intake of supplements would provide all essential vitamins and minerals and reduce the risks like loss of vision from age-related eye diseases like AMD and cataract (6, 7).

Thus, for many people, eye vitamins are essential health supplements. Let us take a thorough look at the best eye vitamins, the recommended dosage, and the possible side effects of these supplements.

Best Eye Vitamins: Our Pick

1. Best Eye Vitamin Supplement With Lutein: Vita Balance Lutenol

2. Best Eye Vitamin with GLA: Performance Lab Vision 

3. Best Eye Vitamin with AREDS 2 Formula: Bausch & Lomb PreserVision

4. Best Eye Vitamin with Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+

5. Best Budget Eye Vitamin Supplement: Puritan Pride Lutigold

6. Best Overall Eye Vitamin Supplement: Physician’s Choice Lutemax

1. Best Eye Vitamin Supplement With Lutein: Vita Balance Lutenol

Vita Balance is a US-based health supplements firm with over 35 products in production at the time, ranging from several diet supplements to hair oil and eye vitamins. Lutenol is a top-notch proprietary blend manufactured by Vita Balance and contains several vitamins crucial for preventing age-related macular degeneration.

About Lutenol

Vita Balance’s Lutenol contains lutein, a carotenoid found in our body and plants and vegetables. It acts as an antioxidant to clear our eyes of free-radicals, which hastens eye cells’ degeneration (8).

Besides lutein, Lutenol contains zeaxanthin, a similar ingredient with only a slight change in molecular make-up, bilberry extract, which is rich in antioxidants, anthocyanins, and polyphenols, and also grape seed extract, another antioxidant.

The supplement is made from natural herbal extracts that have proven benefits for eyes. The company makes all its products within the USA and in only FDA-registered facilities.

What it Contains:

Each dose (2 capsules) of Lutenol contains:

  • Vitamin A – 2000 IU
  • Vitamin C – 200 mg
  • Vitamin E – 45 IU
  • Vitamin B1 – 8 mg
  • Vitamin B2 – 8 mg
  • Vitamin B3 – 40 mg
  • Biotin – 800 mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 27 mcg
  • Calcium Carbonate – 50 mg
  • Magnesium Oxide – 40 mg
  • Zinc Oxide – 32 mg
  • Selenium AAC — 8 ug
  • Copper Gluconate – 2 mg
  • Chromium Picolinate – 3.6 mcg

The Proprietary Blend (505 mg) contains Lutein, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Bilberry extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Eyebright, Zeaxanthin, Quercetin, Rutin, L-Taurine, Grape Seed Extract, and Lycopene.

Each bottle of Lutenol contains 60 capsules and can last a month on a daily dose of two pills. Vita Balance suggests taking the dose 20-30 minutes before your meal with a glass of water.

The Pros:

  • Contains a proprietary blend of lutein and zeaxanthin and other ingredients
  • Made in the USA
  • Made in an FDA-registered facility that follows GMP guidelines 
  • Suitable for vegetarians

Summary: Lutenol is a premium blend of lutein and zeaxanthin, both important antioxidants that can rid the eyes of free radicals. The supplement has a powerful proprietary blend of several diverse ingredients that support better eye function and health.

2. Best Eye Vitamins with GLA: Performance Lab Vision

Blackcurrants are rich in Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) and linoleic acid, which are said to be a boon for dry eyes. The fruit is also known to facilitate blood flow to the eyes and slow down the deterioration of glaucoma (9, 10).

About Performance Lab Vision

Performance Lab is a premium name in the health supplement business which claims to use ingredients that are created using advanced “nutritional technology.” It also cites a process it has named ‘Nutrigenesis,’ in which the components are grown using rich soil and other inputs so that they do not lose their native potency and nutritional value.

Performance Lab Vision contains a rich dose of 300 mg of blackcurrant, which helps eyes fight drying out by facilitating the blood flow to their nerves. The product also has FloraGlo, a patented formula containing lutein.

The capsules are free of caffeine, soy, GMO, synthetic additives, gluten, allergens, and banned substances. They are also suitable for vegans.

What it Contains:

Each dose (1 capsule) of Performance Lab Vision contains:

  • European Freeze-Dried Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) (fruit) – 300 mg
  • European Blackcurrant Extract (fruit) (25% anthocyanins and typically providing 2.2% C3G) – 25 mg
  • European Bilberry Extract (Vaccinium myrtillus) (fruit) – 25 mg
  • FloraGLO® Lutein (marigold flower extract) – 10 mg
  • FloraGLO® Zeaxanthin (marigold flower extract) – 2 mg
  • Astaxanthin (as Haemattococcus Pluvialis algal extract) – 1 mg
  • Saffron (Crocus sativus) (stigma) (0.3% safranal) – 1 mg

Each bottle of Performance Lab Vision contains 30 capsules and can easily last you for a month. According to the manufacturer, it is ideal when taken 20-30 minutes before a meal with water.

The Pros:

  • Vegan-friendly 
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • GMP-certified
  • Zero caffeine, banned substances, and synthetic additives

Summary: Performance Lab is known to use ingredients that are scientifically-tested and developed. Vision also uses ingredients, like blackcurrant, which are developed using a “nutritional technology” and are designed to be more effective, making the supplement one of the best in the market.

3. Best Eye Vitamin with AREDS 2 Formula: Bausch & Lomb PreserVision

The AREDS 2 is a formula for nutritional supplements that has been designed over several years of study to delay or reduce the risk of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (11).

The study began in 1992 and continued through the rest of the ’90s and 2000s. The study has been conducted by the National Eye Institute to understand AMD and cataract and the nutrients that can address the affliction caused by the two diseases.

About Bausch & Lomb PreserVision

Bausch & Lomb needs no introduction; the company is arguably the oldest (founded in 1853) and certainly one of the world’s most trusted eye-care brands. Their PreserVision uses AREDS 2, a formula that contains vitamins E and C along with lutein and other ingredients helpful in slowing down AMD and decreasing the risk of cataract.

The AREDS 2 is an improvement over the original AREDS formula, and both have been derived after extensive scientific studies and research.

The supplement comes in ‘mini gel’ capsules, which the company claims are smaller than those made by its competitors.

What it Contains:

Each dose (2 capsules) of Bausch & Lomb PreserVision contains:

  • Vitamin C — 500 mg
  • Vitamin E – 180 mg
  • Zinc – 80 mg
  • Lutein – 10 mg
  • Zeaxanthin – 2 mg
  • Copper 2 mg

Other ingredients: Ascorbic Acid, Gelatin, Dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Soybean Oil With Peanut Oil, Zinc Oxide, Marigold Flower Extract, Soy Lecithin With Peanut Oil, Yellow Beeswax, Silicon Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide, Cupric Oxide, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Blue 1.

Each bottle of Bausch & Lomb PreserVision contains 120 soft gels, which will last you for two months. The company recommends dividing the dose between morning and evening (before food) with one pill each time.

The Pros:

  • Scientifically-designed AREDS 2 formula
  • The legacy of Bausch & Lomb
  • Smaller-sized pills
  • Made in the USA

Summary: Bausch & Lomb PreserVision is one of the best eye care supplements around for obvious reasons. The product uses the science-based AREDS 2 formula and uses the right ingredients in the required quantity for the best results. The reputation of the brand as one of the oldest eye-care companies in the world ensures that the product makes it to the top-rated eye vitamin list.

4. Best Eye Vitamin with Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+

Omega 3 is a fatty acid that we obtain from our diet as the body cannot produce it. Several studies have found the Omega 3 acid to be an efficient facilitator of retinal function and a corrective for dry eyes (12, 13, 14).

About Ocuvite Adult 50+

Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+ is one of the more popular eye care products of the company that helps people over the age of 50 to maintain healthy eyesight.

It contains Omega 3 in ample doses to help alleviate the affliction of dry eyes. Omega 3 is also known to have anti-inflammation properties.

Besides containing Omega 3, Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+ also has lutein and zeaxanthin in proportion (5:1) as proposed in AREDS, with both ingredients having been extracted from marigold flowers. The product is packed in small gel based capsules which the company claims are smaller by 25% from similar supplements by competitors.

What it Contains:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 150 gm
  • Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) – 20 mg
  • Zinc (Zinc oxide) – 9 mg
  • Copper (copper oxide) – 1 mg
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (160 mg EPA, 90 mg DHA) – 250 mg
  • Lutein – 5 mg
  • Zeaxanthin – 1 mg

Other ingredients: Fish oil (from anchovies, sardines), gelatin, glycerine, yellow beeswax, silicon dioxide, carmine, caramel, natural flavor, soy lecithin, titanium dioxide.

Each bottle of Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+ contains 90 soft gels, which means it can last for three months. The product guide suggests taking one soft gel daily in the morning with water.

The Pros: 

  • Contains Omega 3 fatty acids with lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Brand value
  • Contains no FD&C dyes
  • Helps prevent age-related damage to the eyes

Summary: Bausch & Lomb Ocuvite Adult 50+ is rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA), the two Omega 3 fatty acids which are known to aid retinal and overall visual development. The product is beneficial for those over 50 since fish oil has anti-inflammatory properties and prevents itching and dry eyes.

5. Best Budget Eye Vitamin Supplement: Puritan Pride Lutigold

Puritan Pride is a renowned name in the health and wellness industry since 1973. The company says that they source ingredients from 106 countries and follow standards in choosing and manufacturing its vitamins, which have been laid down by the FDA.

Lutigold is one of the over 1000 products offered by Puritan Pride and is one of the most cost-effective eye vitamin supplements containing a high lutein dosage.

About Puritan Pride Lutigold

Lutein is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals in our eyes and restores their natural health. Along with containing a high dosage of lutein, the product also has zeaxanthin, another ingredient beneficial for the eyes.

These scientifically-formulated supplements come in the form of soft gel pills, are made in the USA, and are tested for purity, potency, and consistency.

These eye vitamin soft gels have no artificial colors, flavor, sweeteners, sugar, soy, milk, starch, lactose, sodium, wheat, fish, yeast, gluten, and preservatives.

What it Contains:

Each dose (one pill) of Puritan Pride Lutigold contains:

  • Lutigold™ lutein – 40 mg
  • Zeaxanthin – 1600 mcg

Other ingredients include Safflower Oil, Gelatin, Vegetable Glycerin, and Yellow Beeswax.

Each bottle of Lutigold contains 120 easy to swallow gel-based pills. According to the dosage guidelines, it is recommended to take each dose of one pill every day with a meal.

The Pros:

  • Higher dosage of lutein
  • Easy to swallow soft gels
  • Lactose, gluten, and sugar-free
  • No artificial sweetener or preservatives

Summary: Puritan Pride Lutigold is the best eye vitamin supplement for those suffering from oxidative stress and are at the risk of weak eyesight. The product contains a high dose of lutein, an antioxidant known to fight the free radicals that the eyes come in contact with via their exposure to oxygen.

6. Best Overall Eye Vitamin Supplement: Physician’s Choice Lutemax

Lutemax 2020 is listed as one of the best eye supplements among those reviewed because it contains the AREDS 2 formula and other ingredients such as black pepper extract, which is known to increase the absorbability of nutrients in the body (15).

About Physician’s Choice Lutemax

Physician’s Choice takes pride in using only those ingredients for its products which are backed by science. The Lutemax is one of the few award-winning formulas fortified with BioPerine, a patent black pepper ingredient.

Lutemax supports all three macular carotenoids and contains lutein and zeaxanthin in potent doses as well. BioPerine ensures that the ingredients you take get absorbed in the body well effectively, thus increasing the supplement’s benefits.

Lutemax 2020 is also a completely vegetarian product and is made with non-GMO ingredients. Manufactured in the USA in a cGMP-compliant facility, it is also third-party tested for purity and contains no soy, milk, wheat, peanuts, gluten, egg, shellfish, binders, and preservatives.

What it Contains:

Each dose (2 capsules) of Physician’s Choice Lutemax contains:

  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – 250 mg
  • Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol succinate) – 20 mg
  • Folate (as folic acid) – 400 mcg DFE
  • Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) – 100 mcg
  • Zinc (as zinc citrate) – 25 mg
  • Copper (as copper citrate) – 2 mg
  • Bilberry, European fruit extract 4:1 – 50 mg
  • Grape seed extract 955 proanthocyanidins – 25 mg
  • Lutein (from Lutemax 2020 Marigold extract) – 20 mg
  • Zeaxanthin (from Lutemax 2020 Marigold extract) – 4 mg
  • BioPerine (fruit) black pepper extract 95 % piperine – 5 mg 

Each bottle of Physician’s Choice Lutemax 2020 contains 60 vegetarian capsules, 30 servings of two tablets each. The manufacturers recommend taking two pills every day with water.

The Pros:

  • Contains BioPerine for efficient absorption of nutrients
  • Vegan-friendly formula
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Third-party tested for purity

Summary: There is no doubt that Physician’s Choice Lutemax 2020 is an effective eye care supplement. It carries the potent mix of ingredients as recommended in the AREDS 2 findings and ensures that all of them are absorbed in the body with BioPerine, a black pepper extract. Besides, the credibility of Lutemax 2020 is further attested by it being an award-winning ingredient that has been cited in B.L.U.E. (Blue Light User Exposure) study.

The Recommended Dosage of Eye Vitamins Supplements

The manufacturers of eye vitamin supplements recommend taking a dose comprising one or two capsules with a single meal, preferably 30 minutes before your meal with water.

Since the FDA does not regulate health supplements, you must ensure that the products come with quality assurances, like being manufactured at a facility following GMP guidelines, third-party testing, and information about ingredient sources to avoid any health hazards.

You should limit your consumption of the supplement to the recommended serving size only.

Eye vitamin supplements contain various ingredients like fish oil, gelatine, and fruit extracts, which may trigger allergies. You should thoroughly evaluate the ingredients of these supplements to check for any possible sensitivity to any of them.

Remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet alongside taking eye vitamins and consuming food products rich in Vitamin A, C, E to improve eye health and vision.

Summary: The eye vitamin supplements should be taken as per the dosage recommended by the manufacturers. It is also advised to check the ingredients of these supplements to avoid any allergies or any other health issues. One should also increase the intake of food items that are beneficial for eye health.

The Side Effects of Eye Vitamin Supplements

Eye vitamin supplements are not known to cause any significant side effects in human bodies. Some people might experience symptoms like skin rashes, general weakness, nausea, or headache (16).

However, an increased dose or a combination of these supplements could lead to an excess of certain nutrients in the body, resulting in certain health challenges.

For instance, an increased amount of fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin A could be life-threatening and can also lead to toxicity. Similarly, when consumed along with some painkillers or antiallergics, eye vitamin supplements could lead to bodily reactions (17).

Additionally, pregnant or nursing women, children, people with existing conditions, or using other medications should avoid taking any supplement before consulting their physician.

A study also shows smokers to be at a greater risk for lung cancer upon consuming beta–carotene, which used to be an important ingredient of eye vitamin supplements (18).

Thus, it is necessary to check the constituents of these supplements to avoid any adverse effects on health and limit the dosage.

Since no comprehensive studies are available to highlight the side effects or drug interactions of eye vitamins, it is best to take these under a doctor’s guided supervision.

Summary: No significant side effects have been reported upon consuming eye vitamin supplements. However, one should use these supplements as the dosage instruction to avoid the overdose of nutrients leading to complications. Thus, it would be best to consume them under medical guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are AREDS and AREDS 2 Based Eye Vitamin Supplements? Are They Effective?

NEI formulated the AREDS and AREDS 2 after conducting in-depth studies and trials. These formulas constitute various vitamins and minerals in the required amount to maintain eye health, which can’t be met through diet or multivitamins alone (19, 20).

The AREDS 2 formula has been developed after 20 years of research and is an improvement on AREDS, which contained beta-carotene. This was found to have cast some adverse effects on the health of users who smoked or were smokers in the past (21).

The clinical trials conducted to study these formulas’ efficacy have shown considerable positive results by reducing the risk of vision loss by up to 25% in patients with advanced AMD. Thus, it can be said that these formulas support eye health and function (22).

Will Using Eye Drops Give The Same Results As Consuming Eye Vitamin Supplements?

Eye drops do not have the same results as the supplements. While eye drops are administered in the eyes, one needs to consume the supplements orally to allow the body to assimilate the essential nutrients and reap the benefits of its ingredients and nutrients.

Do Chronic Health Conditions Affect The Vision?

Some chronic diseases (like type-2 diabetes) are known to cause serious harm to the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to loss of vision. Similarly, ailments like high blood pressure and multiple sclerosis could cause inflammation affecting the vision as well. Age is also a factor in vision deterioration.

I Used to Smoke Cigarettes Earlier. Can I Consume AREDS/AREDS 2 Based Eye Vitamin Supplements?

AREDS formula contains beta-carotene, which was found to be harmful to people who smoke or used to smoke. This led to the development of the AREDS 2 formula, which replaced beta-carotene with carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, added omega 3 fatty acids, and reduced the amount of zinc in the mix. These alternative ingredients were found to give similar results as the original formula (23).

Thus, if you currently smoke or used to have a smoking habit, it is recommended that you choose AREDS 2 based supplements. Further, take appropriate guidance from a health care professional before consuming the AREDS 2 supplements to keep serious side effects at bay.

The Final Note

Eye vitamin supplements have been effective in maintaining eye vision and remedying conditions like AMD. The formulations designed by AREDS 2 have proven to be beneficial for the overall eye health as well.

With time, as the chances of age-related damage increase, using eye vitamin supplements is recommended by many doctors. However, be sure to use the right dosage and under competent supervision to avail the maximum benefit.

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