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What vitamins are good for night vision*

What vitamins are good for night vision

Editor-in-Chief: Anthony J Busti, MD, PharmD, FNLA, FAHA

Reviewers: Jon D Herrington, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP and Donald S Nuzum, PharmD, BCACP, CDE

Last Reviewed: October 2015

Explanation

Vitamin A (also called all-trans-retinol or all-trans-retinoic acid) is a well-known fat soluble vitamin found in many foods and dietary supplements Vitamin A has been shown to be useful in helping with nighttime vision, but not daytime vision

Why is vitamin A needed for night vision to occur?

In addition to vitamin A's role in helping the rods in our eyes convert light into neuronal impulses for our brain, it is also required to maintain normal differentiation of the cornea and conjunctival membranes which helps prevent other abnormal eye conditions, such as xerophthalmia The Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine - National Academy of Sciences advises that the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA; given below as retinol activity equivalents (RAE's)) and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (ULs) be the following:

  • Children 1 to 3 years of age: RDA = 300 mg/d with UL = 600mg/d
  • Children 4 to 8 years of age: RDA = 400 mg/d with UL = 900mg/d
  • Males & Females 9 to 13 years of age: RDA = 600 mg/d with UL = 1,700mg/d
  • 14 to 18 years of age: RDA = 700mg/d for females and 900mg/d for males with UL = 2,800mg/d
  • > 18 years of age: RDA = 700mg/d for females and 900mg/d for males with UL = 3,000mg/d

As with any medication or supplement, excessive doses or unnecessary exposure can be harmful Therefore, doses above the UL should be avoided because Vitamin A has been associated with an increase risk for hip fracture in postmenopausal women, lung cancer, cardiovascular mortality and total mortality3-6

  1. Wässle H, Boycott BB Functional architecture of the mammalian retinaVitamin A has been shown to be useful in helping with nighttime vision, but not daytime vision. Physiol Rev 1991;71(2):447-80

MESH Terms & Keywords

Vitamin A, Vit A Supplements, All-trans-retinol, All-trans-retinoic acid, Nighttime Vision