Carrots and vision

Will eating carrots improve my vision?

We have all heard that we need to eat carrots to have good vision, but is that really the case?  Not exactly.  While carrots are a great source of nutrition, they will not cure your bad eyesight.  Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, or provitamin A.  Provitamin A gets converted in the body to vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential to overall eye health but it will not improve your nearsightedness.  Vitamin A is vital to helping protect the cornea.  It helps to stave off bacterial infections of the eye and even helps protect against the adverse effects of dry eye.  When vitamin A is combined with other antioxidants, it also shows a protection against macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.

A person can be vitamin A deficient which can lead to blindness (among other health issues).  While this is rare in the US, malnourishment is estimated to cause up to 500,000 new worldwide cases of blindness each year.  One of the early signs of vitamin A deficiency is night blindness.  A person can also have too much vitamin A which can have a toxic effect.  However, obtaining your vitamin A from carrots in the form of beta-carotene will not lead to a toxic situation as the extra beta-carotene is easily excreted.

So, while carrots will not cure your blurry vision, you should still eat them to help protect your vision and improve your overall eye health.