Eyesight is an easy thing to take for granted, but our ability to see is one of the human body’s most incredible senses. And there’s a lot more to it than simply discerning objects in the distance. Our eyes are capable of dealing with huge variations in contrast, for example.
One of the things that maintains healthy eyesight are pigments called macular carotenoids – like those that help make carrots orange or help create the colour in purple broccoli. These carotenoids, which can turn into a form of vitamin A, are thought to shield the retina from the damage caused by too much exposure to blue light, particularly the light emitted by the Sun.
In the past few years, researchers have found evidence that taking dietary supplements of these pigments could help to reduce glare and improve many other aspects of visual performance: sharper colours, enhanced contrast, faster recovery time, quicker visual processing speeds, and even the ability to see further.
This does not mean these supplements can replace eyeglasses in all people with refractive errors, such as near-sightedness. But could taking a daily pill really help improve our vision?