Can blackcurrants help my eyesight?
Scientists have discovered that dietary antioxidants play an important role in maintaining eye health and vision, particularly in preventing cataract.
Cataract is a common degenerative eye disease and is associated with getting older. It results from the build-up of oxidised proteins in the lens of the eye, which prevents light from entering.
Some antioxidants like vitamin C have been found to reduce the risk of cataract, but whether or not the other blackcurrant antioxidants offer similar protection is not yet known.
In a scientific study on humans, blackcurrant juice containing anthocyanins helped the volunteers' eyes to adjust to darkness better.
This reduced the feeling of 'tired eyes' whilst working at a computer screen (1). However, a similar study using bilberry anthocyanins did not reveal the same results (2).
- Nakaishi H. et al. (2000) Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans. Alternative Medicine Review 5: 553-562.
- Muth E.R. et al. (2000) The effedt of bilberry nutritional supplementation on night visual acuity and contrast sensitiveity . Alternative Medicine Review 5: 164-173.