Vitamin B, along with most vitamins, has been shown to improve bodily function and support overall health and wellness. Recent studies have also shown that certain B vitamins may also play a supporting role in improving eye health, specifically, and, when taken with a classic AREDS 2 eye supplement, may have a positive effect on aging eyes. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the B vitamins and the benefits they may have on eye health.
Before we dive right in, let’s discuss B vitamins further. Vitamin B is essential for the body to function, and includes a “family” of vitamins, rather than being a single, isolated nutrient. The eight B vitamins are:
- B1 – Thiamin
- B2 – Riboflavin
- B3 – Niacin
- B5 – Pantothenic acid
- B6 – Pyridoxine
- B7 – Biotin
- B9 – Folate
- B12 – Cyanocobalamin
Now that we understand who the players are, let’s discuss the benefits of these essential vitamins on eye health.
While many people don’t think much about the relationship between heart health and eye health, if you’ve tuned in to Viteyes blog before, you already know how the eyes can be indicators of health throughout the body, and sometimes vision changes are the first signs and symptoms of “silent” cardiovascular diseases including hypertension. Research indicates that a healthy balance of B3, B5, B6, and folate/folic acid (B9) supports heart health, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure affecting eye health. Vitamin B3 helps control cholesterol levels, while B5 helps to support nerve health. While optimizing heart health is an indirect way of improving eye health, it’s an important passive benefit of vitamin B on your eyes. To learn more about the relationship between blood pressure and your eye health, visit our other post on the topic.
Supports the Retina
Vitamin B2, Riboflavin, is awarded special importance from the B vitamin family to eye health due to its role in helping the retina receive light. Riboflavin is used during glutathione, a super antioxidant, creation, which removes free radicals in the eye. A vitamin B2 deficiency can result in light sensitivity and plays a contributing role in cataract development.
One important role that essential vitamins play in your overall health is collaborating with other vitamins for optimal function. For instance, vitamin B5 supports the metabolism of omega fatty acids and is a key player in the synthesis of vitamin A — an eye-healthy vitamin as well! Biotin (B7) plays a role in the metabolism of glucose, and vitamin B6 helps convert homocysteine into cysteine, supporting cardiovascular health.
May Play a Role in Diabetes
While the relationship between vitamin B and Type 2 diabetes is not well understood yet, and it is a far cry to make claims that vitamin B can reduce the risk of or treat diabetes, there does seem to be a positive relationship. What can be confidently claimed is that many people with insulin resistance or who are taking diabetes management medications lose B vitamins more rapidly and often suffer from vitamin B deficiencies. In fact, many people who are at risk of or who have been diagnosed with diabetes will be prescribed folic acid (B9), B6, and B12. Diabetes affects eye health in a variety of ways and can cause cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
As an important side note – while there is no scientific evidence that consuming vitamin B6 can help prevent or reduce the risk of any eye disease, it is a reoccurring theme that many patients diagnosed with macular degeneration are B6 deficient.
At Viteyes, we recognize the role that vitamin B may play in eye health and vision maintenance. We have added the B vitamins to our Classic AREDS 2 + Multivitamin daily eye supplement, the Classic AREDS 2 Companion Multivitamin, the Complete Multivitamin, and the Optic Nerve Support blend. Discover the eye health benefits of vitamin B for yourself and order your eye supplements today!