Vitamin C and Vision
Vitamins are by definition vital for all living cells. The origin of the word is from Latin vita ‘life’ + amine, because vitamins were originally thought to contain an amino acid. If a body can produce a substance it is not a vitamin. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, for example is not manufactured by humans but it is by dogs so for dogs it is not a vitamin but it is for humans. A vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy which is a breakdown of connective tissue. Prior to 1795, sailors would suffer from scurvy while on voyages and it was discovered that eating limes prevented the symptoms hence, they were called "limeys." Vitamin C is found in higher concentrations in certain organs in the body and thus is thought to play a specific role in the protection and function of that organ. The pituitary glands, adrenal glands, and lens of the eye contain the highest vitamin C content (at least140umol/ 100 g wet weight) within the body. It is believed to help in the prevention of oxidative damage in the lens of the eye- cataracts.
Oxidative damage occurs when oxygen or free radicals come in contact with unsaturated fatty acids in the body or other living organisms. One can observe the browning of a peeled banana or a cut apple when exposed to air. It is the oxygen in the air that caused oxidative damage. Covering the banana with lemon or orange juice containing vitamin C will protect the fruit preventing oxidation. So it is in the body. Sunlight traveling through the clear lens in the eye can cause oxidation. Smoking causes free radicals which attacks the cells of the body resulting in both cell damage and DNA damage.
Good sunglasses in addition to a healthy diet can help minimize the effects of oxidation on the lenses in your eyes.
For more information on eyes click Simon Eye Associates.