Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, chemically referred to as ascorbic acid. It is classified as an essential nutrient that is primarily involved in the repair of tissues, the enzymatic production of neurotransmitters and immune system function. It is readily available in foods such as citrus fruits, broccoli, and peppers, although it may also be consumed as a supplement. A study of the composition of retinal cells found out that they are coated with high levels of Vitamin C, both inside and out. Given that the retina is a component of the central nervous system, vitamin C facilitates communication between brain cells, through GABA-type receptors. It, therefore, ensures that responsible nerves are well protected and continue to function appropriately for prolonged durations.
A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C plays a crucial role in mitigating damage caused by radicals that gain access to the eye. The molecular damage caused by free radicals most often affects the lens tissue, which if not managed can progress to acquired blindness. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the eye requires about 250mg of vitamin C daily, for effective protection against free-radical damage. The vitamin’s antioxidant effect also contributes to anti-aging and hence premature degeneration of macular cells that may affect vision.
It also supports the integrity of blood capillaries in the eye, ensuring that there is effective vascularization of cells and control of cholesterol levels within the vessels, for optimal nutrition and function. It also promotes the absorption of iron into eye cells. It contributes toward improving the immunity of the eye, through synthesis and release of histamines. Finally, it aids in the synthesis of collagen, which acts as an important structural component of the eye and provides stability to the lens and cornea.