Possible contraindications and adverse reactions associated with the use of ocular nutritional supplements

Hannah E. Bartlett*, Frank Eperjesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of oxidation in the development of age-related eye disease has prompted interest in the use of nutritional supplementation for prevention of onset and progression. Our aim is to highlight possible contraindications and adverse reactions of isolated or high dose ocular nutritional supplements. Web of Science and PubMed database searches were carried out, followed by a manual search of the bibliographies of retrieved articles. Vitamin A should be avoided in women who may become pregnant, in those with liver disease, and in people who drink heavily. Relationships have been found between vitamin A and reduced bone mineral density, and beta-carotene and increased risk of lung cancer in smoking males. Vitamin E and Ginkgo biloba have anticoagulant and anti-platelet effects respectively, and high doses are contraindicated in those being treated for vascular disorders. Those patients with contraindications or who are considered at risk of adverse reactions should be advised to seek specialist dietary advice via their medical practitioner. © 2005 The College of Optometrists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalOphthalmic and Physiological Optics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Bibliographical note

© 2005 The College of Optometrists. Published by Wiley-Blackwell.


  • adverse reactions
  • contraindications
  • ginkgo biloba
  • nutritional supplementation
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin E
  • zZinc


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