Many people know nootropics help fire up brainpower. However, some nootropics have a little-known bonus benefit: they help to improve vision.
Yes, you read that right. Nootropics for vision are not just about boosting your brain's health, but they can also help you see the larger picture more clearly.
This guide gives you the lowdown on how these nootropics can help take your ocular health to the next level. There's no better feeling than having a rejuvenated mind and improved eyesight. Several key nootropics can make these happen.
How Can Nootropics Help Vision?
Vision means everything for the productive individual. First off, you cannot perform your everyday tasks to the best of your abilities if your eyesight isn't 100 percent.
If you're a student, it is difficult to study and write term papers if your eyes don't cooperate. On the other hand, if you're an office worker, you can't operate at maximum efficiency if you compromise your vision. More importantly, you cannot enjoy time with your friends and family if your eyes don't cooperate.
Bottom line: If you take care of your eyes, you improve the quality of your life.
Sure, there are plenty of vision supplements on the market which help boost your eyesight. Throw in good nutrition habits<1>, and you can help maintain your healthy vision.
However, little do some people know that nootropic supplements (which have earned a reputation as exceptional brain boosters) can also improve your eyesight.
Visual Information Processing
This term refers to the brain's prowess to interpret information the eyes see. It includes several sub-categories:
- Visual cognition: This is the mind's ability to manipulate visual information to make decisions and solve problems, compare objects, and interpret context clues. An example is interpreting text and graphics while reading.
- Visual memory: The mind's ability to process stimuli, retain them in memory, and retrieve them when the situation calls for it.
- Scanning: This refers to the ability to record information of a scene in a systematic manner.
- Visual attention: This is the mind's ability to focus on a certain stimuli and shift attention between stimuli.
It turns out 50 percent of the brain devotes itself to vision, per Professor Mriganka Sur of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.<2> With this in mind, a deeper understanding of the vision process paves the way for more intimate knowledge of the brain.
Clearly, visual information processing intertwines the two aspects. When you take a big-name nootropic such as Mind Lab Pro®, you improve your vision and cognition considerably. It's a win-win proposition.
When your eyes' lens (which you can find between the iris and the pupil) begin to cloud, a cataract forms. It's a serious eye issue. In fact, vision experts say it's the most common cause of vision loss. There are several types of cataracts:
- Age-related: 95 percent of cataracts are age-related, with risk rising after the age of 40
- Congenital: These cataracts show up at birth. The baby possibly inherited them from the mother or father.
- Traumatic: A hard blow, cut, puncture, or burn from a chemical substance can cause this kind of cataract.
- Secondary: Causes may include eye infection, some synthetics, or some sort of health issue such as diabetes.
Fortunately, there are several nootropic supplement ingredients that may help. One of these is vitamin B12, whose antioxidant properties are suggested to help with lens clarity.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Another vision issue which some nootropic supplement ingredients can address is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Kierstan Boyd of the American Academy of Ophthalmology defines AMD:<4>
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a problem with your retina. It happens when a part of your retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision will be normal.
For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock's numbers but not the hands.
Boyd also says there are two types of AMD:
- Dry AMD: This is the more common form of age-related macular degeneration. An estimated 80 percent of individuals with AMD have the dry form. "Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision," per Boyd. Unfortunately, there is no available treatment for AMD yet.
- Wet AMD: This is the rare and more serious form of AMD. Here, blood and other fluids may leak from abnormal blood vessels under the retina. This scars the macula in the process. Wet AMD results in faster vision loss than dry AMD.
Certain nootropic supplement ingredients such as vitamin B6 help keep homocysteine levels in check. This is a naturally-occurring amino acid which has detrimental effects on cardiovascular function. High levels may result in age-related macular degeneration.
The good news: Mind Lab Pro®'s nootropic components help ward off excessive homocysteine so you can enjoy impeccable vision for a long time.
The National Eye Institute defines glaucoma as a vision issue which "damages the eye's optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness."<5>
In this instance, there is excess fluid buildup in the eye's anterior chamber. This, in turn, puts excess pressure on the optic nerve which may cause open-angle glaucoma and, if left unchecked, vision loss.
Open-angle glaucoma is the most common. There are three other types of glaucoma:
- Low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma: Despite normal eye pressure, some people experience optic nerve damage and narrowed side vision.
- Angle-closure glaucoma: Here, a part of the iris blocks the angle where excess fluid in front of the eye normally drains out. If this continues, blindness may result. This is a medical emergency which requires immediate attention.
- Congenital glaucoma: As the term implies, the baby has a defect in the angle which drains eye fluid. Conventional surgery is the best course of action as medication can cause serious side effects in babies.
According to the National Eye Institute, the following people have a greater chance of developing glaucoma:
- African Americans who are at least 40 years of age
- Individuals who are at least 60 years of age (especially Mexican Americans)
- Those with a family history of glaucoma
One nootropic supplement ingredient which helps ward off glaucoma is vitamin B9 (folate). Some research findings suggest vitamin B9 intake helps keep glaucoma at bay. These studies also reveal individuals with glaucoma have high homocysteine levels - an issue which vitamin B9 can potentially address.
Vision Health and Antioxidants
Many of today's vision supplements have one thing in common: they are teeming with antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances which slow down oxidation and neutralize free radicals in the body. These free radicals have a detrimental effect on long-term vision.
Eye experts recommend consuming an antioxidant-rich nutrition plan - one which emphasizes dark, leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale. Other great whole-food options include:
- Whole grains (such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread and brown rice have excellent B vitamin content)
- Oranges (teeming with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which helps regulate ocular blood vessel function)
- Egg yolks (an excellent source of vitamin A, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin)
- Fish (particularly salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Nuts (whose vitamin E content helps ward off cataracts and AMD)
The National Eye Institute confirms a potent combination of antioxidants and zinc keeps age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at bay:<6>
Scientists found that people at high risk of developing advanced stages of AMD, a leading cause of vision loss, lowered their risk by about 25 percent when treated with a high-dose combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc.
In the same high-risk group - which includes people with intermediate AMD, or advanced AMD in one eye but not the other eye - the nutrients reduced the risk of vision loss caused by advanced AMD by about 19 percent.
Today's nootropic supplements contain key nutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. These include Bacopa monnieri, Rhodiola rosea, citicoline, pine bark extract, and lion's mane mushroom. These nutrients help take care of your eyes for a better quality of life.
Mind Lab Pro® Nootropics for Vision
Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic herb which helps boost cognition. As a nootropic, it functions in several ways:
- Boosts brain circulation: Bacopa monnieri helps increase brain circulation for optimal function.
- Neutralizes cholinesterase: This is an enzyme which inhibits acetylcholine, a brain chemical which helps improve mental performance and memory.
- Keeps inflammation at bay: Bacopa monnieri helps ward off inflammation which plays a role in cognitive decline.
- Protects brain cells: This nutrient helps regulate the activity of other brain antioxidants which include superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx).
Bacopa monnieri's antioxidant properties also help the eyes stave off free radical activity. As a result, you will experience improved ocular health.
Rhodiola rosea is an herbal adaptogen which helps improve mental and physical performance. One of its main functions is to regulate the activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These catecholamines help maintain optimal central nervous system (CNS) function.
Rhodiola rosea can also possibly keep stress hormone (cortisol) levels in check by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It can also help increase attention span, ward off anxiety, and improve brain function when one lacks sleep.
Rhodiola rosea's antioxidant properties bode well the most for vision. The key: its phenolic compound content<8> which can boost the eyes' antioxidant defense against free radicals.
Citicoline is an enhanced version of choline and an intermediary in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. It helps rejuvenate cell health, improve cognitive function, boost neurotransmitter production, and regulate brain circulation.
In terms of citicoline's eye health benefits, it helps protect neuronal and retinal cells. In fact, researchers say it has potential in treating glaucoma. "Citicoline may induce an improvement of the retinal and of the visual pathway function in patients with glaucoma," per the June 1999 issue of Opthalmology (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).<9>
Citicoline also shows promise in treating amblyopia (lazy eye), which is poor vision in one or both eyes dating back to early childhood. "Treating adult amblyopes with CDP-choline has the effect of improving their VA (visual acuity), CS (contrast sensitivity), and VEPs (visually-evoked potentials)," per the February 1998 issue of Current Eye Research (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov).<10>
Maritime Pine Bark Extract
Manufacturers extract pine bark from French maritime pine trees. It features several antioxidants which experts call oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). These help keep free radical activity at bay.
Pine bark extract has several impressive health benefits:
- Improves skin, heart, joint, and lung health
- Boosts immunity
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Increases exercise performance
Researchers say combining pine bark extract with bilberries (a fruit similar to blueberries which help improve night vision) helps regulate intraocular pressure in the eyes.<11> This, in turn, helps ward off glaucoma. In addition, these two ingredients help increase blood flow to the retina.
Pine bark extract also helps regulate blood pressure levels. High blood pressure (hypertension) may result in glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.<12> Supplementing with pine bark extract helps improve ocular function.
Lion's Mane Mushroom
Among the more than 2,000 species of mushroom, Lion's mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is the only one which helps improve cognitive function. Experts credit its two active compounds (hericenones and erinacines) for its brain-boosting prowess. Erinacines, in particular, helps increase nerve growth factor (NGF) levels.<13>
NGF is crucial because it helps regulate brain cell function. It also helps increase their lifespan. Plus, NGF organizes brain cells and neurons within the nervous system.
Just like Rhodiola rosea, lion's mane mushroom's vision benefits stem from its antioxidant properties. These help ward off oxidative issues and free radicals which can take a toll on one's eyes.
Vitamin B6 is one of the most important and versatile vitamins. It plays a key role in more than 100 enzymatic reactions - many of these pertain to cardiovascular function. Not only that, but vitamin B6 is also crucial for optimum brain health.
For one, the brain has 100 times more vitamin B6 than the bloodstream. Vitamin B6 (a form of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate or P-5-P) helps produce serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine, and melatonin.
Because of its importance in GABA and melatonin production, vitamin B6 helps one sleep better. Collectively, the four aforementioned brain chemicals support emotional health, attention span, and brain rhythm.
Vitamin B6 also helps the body utilize neurotransmitters in a more efficient manner. Experts have linked low vitamin B6 levels to depression and age-related cognitive decline.
When it comes to vision health, combining vitamin B6 with vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 helps keep age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at bay.<14> Vitamin B6's ability to keep homocysteine levels in check is key - high amounts may result in AMD.
Vitamin B9 (folate) is a water-soluble vitamin which has earned a stellar reputation for synthesizing amino acids and DNA. It donates a methyl group to homocysteine to produce the methyl donor s-adenosylmethionine or SAMe (which plays a key role in creatine, carnitine, gluathione, and coenzyme Q10 formation in the brain).
Vitamin B9 also synthesizes the coenzyme factor biopterin (BH4) which, in turn, helps synthesize dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. As a key nootropic ingredient, vitamin B9 helps ward off depression.
In addition, folate helps produce red and white blood cells. It also keeps homocysteine levels in check for a healthier heart. Because of vitamin B9's ability to ward off homocysteine, experts believe it helps keep exfoliation glaucoma (EG) at bay.<15>
Other studies affirm supplementation with folate helps ward off age-related macular degeneration (AMD)<16> in combination with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) helps boost nervous system function, regulate red blood cell production, and synthesize DNA. It also helps boost immunity and heart health (it also keeps homocysteine levels in check), increase energy levels, and keep fatigue at bay.
In terms of brain health, vitamin B12 helps form s-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a methyl donor which helps syntesize and repair DNA. Cobalamin also helps synthesize neurotransmitters and form the myelins sheath, an exterior which facilitates the transmission of electric impulses in the neurons.
On the other hand, researchers have discovered vitamin B12's promising effects on cataracts. According to the July 2001 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology (via NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov), vitamin B12 has "a strong protective influence on cortical cataract."<17>
Studies also support vitamin B6, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12 supplementation helps keep age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at bay.
Mind Lab Pro® features some of the best nootropics for improved visual cognition, visual memory, and visual attention. Its top-notch components also protect your eyes for a better quality of life.
Many individuals need excellent vision in order to become more productive. Nootropics not only boost their cognition, but their vision as well. Mind Lab Pro℗ is more - much more - than just boosting your mental health. It also takes your eyesight to the next level and beyond.
- Mind Lab Pro® nootropics may help with various aspects of vision, making it an excellent choice for eye health.
Regardless of your age or occupation, Mind Lab Pro® can improve visual information processing and other aspects which make an impact on your overall quality of life.
BONUS - Ultimate Vision Stack: Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Vision
Mind Lab Pro® is the best nootropic supplement on the market for vision in 2019 because of its powerful Universal Nootropic™ design.
- To boost your eyesight even more, stack Mind Lab Pro® with Performance Lab® Vision.
Opti-Nutra manufactures both Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab®. With that in mind, it delivers the same degree of excellence across all of its products.
Mind Lab Pro® and Performance Lab® Vision formulas are both Opti-Nutra quality.
Performance Lab ® Vision
Competitive eyesight enhancer with macular health support.
Ingredients: European black currant, powder, and extract (extract standardized for min. 25% anthocyanins and typically providing 2.20% C3G); European bilberry extract (standardized for min. 25% anthocyanosides); lutein + zeaxanthin (FloraGLO®); astaxanthin; saffron (standardized for min. 0.3% safranal)
- Supports macular pigment, ocular circulation, retinal transmission speed, eye antioxidant defenses, and long-range eye health
Opti-Nutra™ Quality + Top-Notch Vision Ingredients = Superior Long-Range Eyesight Support
If you're on the market for multiple first-rate vision supplements, try getting these from one place: Opti-Nutra™ Advanced Nutraceuticals.
Stacking Opti-Nutra™ Mind Lab Pro® + Performance Lab® Vision means you get guaranteed quality across the board.
All Opti-Nutra™ supplements are non-GMO, non-irradiated, and free of gluten, caffeine, synthetic additives, artificial colors, preservatives and banned substances.
Opti-Nutra™ Advanced Nutraceuticals also delivers them in 100% vegan, prebiotic-infused NutriCaps® made from pullulan (fermented tapioca). Above all, Opti-Nutra delivers the advanced formulation strategies and premium ingredients for superior long-term vision.
- Stastny, Sherri N. and Garden-Robinson, Julie. Eating for Your Eye Health. www.AG.NDSU.edu. March 2014.
- MIT Research - Brain Processing of Visual Information. News.MIT.edu. 19 December 1996.
- Why Do Cataracts Cause Vision Loss? PreventBlindness.org.
- Boyd, Kierstan. What is Macular Degeneration? www.AAO.org. 17 May 2018.
- Facts About Glaucoma. NEI.NIH.gov. September 2015.
- Clinical Advisory: Antioxidant Vitamins and Zinc Reduce of Vision Loss from Age-Related Macular Degeneration. NLM.NIH.gov. 15 October 2001
- Aguiar, Sebastian and Borowski, Thomas. Neuropharmacological Review of the Nootropic Herb Bacopa monnieri. Rejuvenation Research. 2013 Aug; 16(4): 313-326.
- Shriner, S.E. et. al. Protection of Human Cultured Cells Against Oxidative Stress by Rhodiola rosea Without Activation of Antioxidant Defenses. Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Sept 1; 47(5):577-584.
- Parisi, V. et al. Cytidine-5'-Diphosphocholine (Citicoline) Improves Retinal and Cortical Responses in Patients with Glaucoma. Opthalmology. 1999 Jun; 106(6):1126-1134.
- Porciatti, V. et al. Cytidine-5'-Diphosphocholine Improves Visual Acuity, Contrast Sensitivity, and Visually-Evoked Potentials of Amblyopic Subjects. Curr Eye Res. 1998 Feb; 17(2):141-148.
- Steigerwalt, Robert D. Jr., et al. Effects of Mitrogenol® on Ocular Blood Flow and Intraocular Hypertension in Asymptomatic Subjects. Mol Vls. 2008; 14:1288-1292.
- Porter, Daniel. Blood Pressure. AAO.org. 27 February 2018.
- Lai, P.L. et al. Neurotrophic Properties of the Lion's Mane Medicinal Mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013; 15(6):539-554.
- Christen, William G. et al. Folic Acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 in Combination with Age-Related Macular Degeneration in a Randomized Trial of Women. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Feb 23; 169(4):335-341.
- Kang, Jae H. et al. A Prospective Study of Folate, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 in Relation to Exfoliation Glaucoma or Exfoliation Glaucoma Suspect. JAMA Opthalmol. 2014 May; 132(5): 549-559.
- Kuzniarz, M. et al. Use of Vitamin Supplements and Cataract: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2001 Jul; 132(1):19-26.