Turmeric has long been known for its health benefits, recognized in the medical and alternative community for potentially reducing inflammation within the body. Since inflammation may impact eyesight, it stands to reason that turmeric may improve your eyesight. In a 10-year clinical trial, participants were randomly assigned to take either vitamin supplements or placebo. They were then assessed to see the effects of the nutrients on eyesight over time. The study was ended early because the benefit from certain vitamins and minerals was so significant. Turmeric contains 2 of the nutrients, Vitamin C and E, from the above studies. Other research indicates turmeric and many of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds could also help prevent or slow the progression of certain eye conditions.
How inflammation may affect your eyesight
“Inflammation is the underlying factor of virtually all diseases encountered in the twenty-first century“, states ophthalmologist and author of the SuperHealth books Stephen Pratt. Inflammation may lead to degenerative eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. One inflammation-related condition, arthritis, may affect the eyes. From infections to vision changes, inflammatory arthritis may pose risks to specific parts of the eye. Rheumatoid arthritis may cause your body to attack its own healthy tissues, such as your tissue in your eye.
What types of eye issues may arise from inflammation?
Keratitis sicca, or dry eye, refers to any condition that decreases moisture in your eyes. It’s often associated with RA. Dry eye disease may increase your risk for injury and infection because your tear glands are responsible for protecting your eyes.
Cataracts, though typically a condition in older people may be brought on by inflammation. Inflammatory forms of arthritis may make cataracts a possibility at any age. Cataracts are commonly seen in people who suffer from RA.
Retinol degeneration is the deterioration of the retina caused by the progressive and eventual death of the cells of the retina. There are several ways in which cell death might be induced in inflammation, as illustrated by Nature.com.
Conjunctivitis is inflammation or infection of the lining of your eyelids and the whites of your eye.
Turmeric may even protect against eye damage caused by smoking cigarettes.
Turmeric and eyesight – making the connection
Researchers found that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may successfully treat some forms of eye diseases caused or aggravated by inflammation. A study led by Dr. Radha Ayyagari, associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego, showed that curcumin possibly prevented the abnormal and damaging protein build-up usually caused by a mutant gene. “Coming from India I have a lot of faith in curcumin,” Ayyagari said, explaining the compound has long been used to treat wounds and inflammation.
Turmeric supports anti-inflammatory function*. It may be used to reduce inflammation and block proteins that trigger swelling and intercept inflammatory pathways, significantly decreasing inflammatory responses. If you have eye issues that are caused or exacerbated by inflammation, ask your doctor if taking a turmeric extract might help improve your eyesight and overall eye health.