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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE EYES

Vital substances for the eyes with scientifically well-documented effects.

Vitamin A

is a fat-soluble vitamin which must be taken in with our diet. This vitamin can mainly be found in animal products such as fish (cod, shark or tuna liver oil), liver products, egg yolk and dairy products.

Vitamin a can also be synthesised from the secondary phytochemical beta-carotene in the human body. However, this carotene must be supplied externally.

Vitamin A is involved in a multitude of functions in the human body. Its most widely known benefit is its contribution to the preservation of normal vision. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily intake of 0.8 to 1.1 mg of vitamin A for healthy adults.

Vitamin C

is found in many fruits and vegetables, but often only in relatively small quantities. Large amounts of vitamin C can be found e.g. in peppers, sea buckthorn or in citrus fruits. It must be borne in mind, however, that foods lose approx. 30% of their original vitamin C content when they are cooked.

Vitamin C contributes to the protection of the cells from oxidative stress. The eyes should be supplied with antioxidants due to their constant exposure to oxygen from the air. The oxygen from the air leads to an increased formation of free radicals which can damage sensitive cells of the eye. Antioxidants can provide relief from these radicals.

Vitamin E

contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress (like vitamin C) and is therefore an antioxidant. This is an effect of the fat-soluble vitamin which the food or cosmetics industry have been using to their benefit. They use vitamin E to protect sensitive fatty acids from perishing. Vegetable oils from wheat germs or sunflower seeds are particularly rich in vitamin E.

Zinc

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has already published many positive statements regarding the trace element zinc:

Zinc contributes to the preservation of normal vision and to the vitamin A metabolism. It also makes a contribution to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, like vitamins C and E.

DHA
(docosahexaenoic acid) contributes to the preservation of normal vision (like zinc, vitamin A and beta-carotene). DHA is an essential component of eye cell membranes as well as the oily tear fluid. To achieve its positive effect on the eye, at least 250 mg of DHA must be consumed every day. Rich sources of this polyunsaturated fatty acid are cold water fish like herring, mackerel or salmon.

Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene belongs to the carotenoid group. It is not only found in carrots but also in large quantities in a variety of green vegetables. It can be converted into vitamin A as needed, which is why it is also called provitamin A. Beta-carotene converted into vitamin A can support the preservation of normal vision.

Vitamin B2

– also known as riboflavin – also contributes to the preservation of normal vision. This is why the yellowish plant pigment is also used as a colourant for foods like yoghurt, for example. The water-soluble vitamin was first isolated from milk in 1920. Milk – and especially milk powder – are ideal sources of Vitamin B2

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AGE-RELATED MACULA DEGENERATION – WHAT IS IT?

Age-related macula degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition which occurs approx. from the age of 50 onwards. It is the most common cause of blindness in old age. With AMD, progressive changes of the macula lutea occur.

This area in the middle of the retina is also called the “yellow spot”. It is the point at which our vision is the sharpest.

The macula contains many sensory cells. They absorb the light reaching the eye and send a signal to the brain via the optic nerve, so that an image is created there. As its name suggests, the macula lutea is characterised by a high lutein content.

Age-related macular degeneration leads to an increased destruction of the sensory cells of the macula. This increasingly affects the vision in the central visual field.

In addition, it causes a reduction of visual acuity, a deterioration of colour vision, and difficulty perceiving contrasts clearly. At the same time, the eye adapts less and less well to different light-dark conditions. Eventually, sufferers can only see outlines.

An ophthalmologist should be consulted urgently as soon as the first symptoms (e.g. distorted vision) appear.

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TIPS FOR TIRED AND DRY EYES

  •  Fresh air is key! Fumes and smoke irritate the eyes. Ventilating rooms several times a day is recommended. For the benefit of your health, your home should be declared a smoke-free zone.
  • Stay away from dry air! Opening the window every now and then and perhaps fitting rooms with a humidifier may also help in this case. Placing a wet cloth on a warm radiator will have a similar effect.
  • Blink frequently! Blinking moistens the eye. When focusing on a gripping crime series or the not so gripping computer screen, they eyes can dry out. Blinking every now and then will help in this case.
  • Just close your eyes for a moment! Give your stressed eyes a short break to help them recover.
  • Tear substitutes from the pharmacy may help! They moisten the eye and are usually suitable for long-term use. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for further information.
  • Eat what's good for your eyes! Fish, green, violet-red and orange fruit, and vegetables are a must on every table in order to ensure sufficient supply with antioxidants.

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