A lot of us have heard that eating carrots can improve our vision,
especially night vision. Have you ever wondered if this is true, can eating
carrots really help us see better at night?

In today’s article, I’ll cover whether eating carrots can really improve
your night vision and whether eating too many carrots can be harmful,
So stay with me till the end of this post. I will review some other
nutrient-dense foods that can help improve or maintain healthy vision.

The idea that eating carrots can improve night vision really started to
become popular during the second world war. In the early 1940s, the
British Ministry of food started a propaganda campaign stating that the key
to the British pilot’s success in shooting down the German bombers at night
was due to their superb night vision from the carrot-rich diet they

And the ministry encouraged civilians to consume more
British-grown carrots. In
fact, this rumor spread so far across the pacific ocean, that a new article
was published in Time magazine on 22 December 1941, entitled “science:
rabbit for owl eyes”.

Stated that the Royal aviation force may soon be eating Arizona carrots in
preference to all other carrots on earth. Arizona’s 3 to 4000 acres of
carrots may be the answer to every aviation command’s problem of preventing
night blindness in its flyers.

So was this true? Were the RAF pilots really able to beat their German
opponents in the sky because they ate more carrots? Most students of history
would point out that the RAF’s success in that era probably had much more to
do with the invention of onboard radar systems than carrots.

In fact, rumor has it that the British Royal Air Force may have pushed the
carrot message as a cover-up for the use of onboard radar technology by
telling the public that carrots were the key to their success. 
During wartime, blackouts occurred often in London and other areas
in the UK, and food shortages were quite common.

But there was a surplus of domestic carrots and the British ministry
of food wanted to encourage the consumption of carrots, by advertising them
as a healthy nutritious food source that would also help improve night

Can eating Carrots help improve your Night Vision?

Is the notion that eating carrots can help improve night vision fact
or fiction? The answer to this question may surprise you. Eating carrots can
in fact sometimes improve night vision, but only under certain conditions.
Let me explain:


The key nutrient in carrots that is important for maintaining eye health is
beta-carotene, which can be converted into vitamin A in our

Vitamin A is the molecule that transmits the signal of stimulation
from light in our eyes to the brain, allowing us to see both during the day
and at night. This important step occurs in the retina which is the layer of
nerve tissue in our eyes.

There are two types of cells in the retina that contain
vitamin A, Rod cells which are responsible for vision at night and in
dim light situations, and cone cells which are responsible for vision during
the day and in well-lit situations.

Vitamin A is also essential for maintaining the health of the cornea, which
is the clear windshield of our eyes. Our body cannot produce vitamin
A on its own and has to rely on external sources such as dietary intake in
order to obtain this essential nutrient.

Dietary sources of vitamin A can be divided into two groups, preformed
vitamin A and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is found
in foods of animal origin such as milk, yogurt, liver, and fish oils.

And Provitamin A is found in vegetable sources such as carrots, pumpkins,
sweet potatoes, and spinach. Because provitamin A needs to be converted into
a biologically useable form
of vitamin A in our body through enzymatic conversion.

Provitamin A obtained from plant sources is an
inefficient dietary source of vitamin A. When compared to preformed
vitamin A.

Additionally, vitamin A is a fat-soluble molecule, both digestion, and
absorption of vitamin A require lipids or fat. so people who eat diets with
critically low-fat content, and people with certain medical
conditions such as pancreatic or liver diseases, may have difficulty with
absorption of vitamin A.

It is estimated that globally about 30% of children younger than five years
of age are vitamin A deficient. And vitamin A deficiency is the
single most important cause of childhood blindness in developing

In the US, we are very lucky, as vitamin A deficiency affects less than 1%
of the population, and it mainly affects people with a history of
digestive diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s
disease, and liver disease like cirrhosis, etc.

Therefore there is no need for most of us in the US to run to the
store to buy a large number of carrots. So can eating carrots help improve
your night vision or not?

The answer depends on whether or not you are vitamin A deficient. In a
setting where people suffer from vitamin A deficiency, studies have
shown that supplements of vitamin A or beta-carotene actually do improve
night vision.

If you are suffering from vitamin A deficiency, exactly how many
carrots do you need to eat to help improve night vision?

Most of the studies have looked into the benefits of beta-carotene from
plant sources. Which are the sole source of vitamin A in many
developing countries.

A randomized control study published in 2005 in the American Journal of clinical
nutrition studied the benefits of vitamin A supplementation from different
food sources in pregnant women with night blindness.

The study concluded that the daily consumption of 4.5 ounces of cooked
carrots for
six weeks improved night
vision in the pregnant women studied.

As I mentioned before, if you live in the US or other developed countries,
eating more carrots is likely to improve your night vision unless you suffer
from vitamin A deficiency due to various digestive diseases or
dietary restrictions.

That being said, carrots are very healthy and they are high in
antioxidants. so if you want to go ahead and eat more carrots that
should be fine for most people.

Can eating too many Carrots be harmful?

One thing to mention about vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is
possible to have too much vitamin A in your body. This is known as vitamin A

However, it is very unlikely for you to develop
vitamin A toxicity solely from eating carrots. The conversion of
beta-carotene from carrots to active vitamin A in our body is quite

The ratio is estimated to be 12:1 by weight, meaning it takes 12 times more
beta-carotene to make an equivalent amount of
bioavailable vitamin A. This
means eating extra carrots is very unlikely to cause vitamin A

Most cases of vitamin A toxicity are actually due to supplements. Some
people have even experienced their skin turning orange after taking a
large number of beta-carotene supplements. it’s a real condition called

Please also be careful when taking a large amount of vitamin A supplements
in the preformed vitamin A form. For example, vitamin A supplements
come in capsule form with lipid carriers.

Taking too much of those vitamin A supplements can cause toxicity,
and symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, skin rash, increased
intracranial pressure, and increased risk of fractures.

As I mentioned above, here is a list of foods that are important for
maintaining eye health:

Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain important
xanthophylls, such as lutein and zeaxanthin. They are important to maintain
the health of the retina.

Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C and other antioxidants
such as oranges and broccoli are important for combating oxidative stress in
our eyes and body.

Foods high in omega-3 oil such as wild-caught fish and seaweed are
important for preventing dry eyes. 

Ruman Amjad

Hello, I am Dr. Ruman Amjad, an Ophthalmologist specializing in the field of eye care, particularly focused on helping individuals with swollen eyelids. I am thrilled to welcome you to Swollen-Eyelid.com, a comprehensive resource dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information on eyelid inflammation.


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