Natural Night Vision Aids

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Filed Under: Vision Health
Last Reviewed 02/18/2014

There’s no question about it, night vision can become a real issue as we age. In fact, I wish I had a nickel for every patient who’s told me that he or she can no longer drive at night. But if you ask your eye doctor about it, chances are you’ll be told it’s a normal part of aging—something you’ll just have to live with. 

But scientists have discovered that there are two berries that can help with night vision—bilberry and black currant. 

Berries as Night Vision Aids

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), which is a cousin to blueberries and cranberries, was reportedly used by Royal Air Force Pilots during World War II as a night vision aid. What we’ve since discovered is that bilberry contains anthocyanosides and other flavonoids that improve circulation, strengthen collagen, nourish the eye tissues and help to protect your eyes from free-radical damage.

For the most effective night vision aid, I like to combine bilberry with black currant extract, which comes from Ribest currants that are found in parts of Asia and Russia. 

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, subjects given 50 mg of black currant anthocyanosides (BCA) 30 minutes before entering a dark area adapted significantly better than those given a placebo. They tried different dosages, and found that those taking 50 mg of BCA were best able to perceive images when they were barely illuminated.

In another study, participants were given a drink containing 40 mg of black currant anthocyanosides. As in the first study, participants could see significantly better in the dark after just 30 minutes with this night vision aid. Plus, that study found that black currant helps to ease eye fatigue. 

One way to support your night vision is by eating bilberries and black currants. But to get the research dose, I recommend taking them in supplement form. You can look for them in your local health-food store. You can also find them in my new and improved Vision Essentials formula. 

Now it’s your turn: Do you need a night vision aid?

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