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A common belief in Sweden is that carrot improve your eyesight and I was told many times when I was little to eat carrots. Although anecdotaly I have perfect vision without carrot-gluttony.

Is there any supporting evidence for that claim?

Related Does bilberry or blueberry improve eyesight?

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I've read (don't remember where) that it was a myth put together by UK intelligence in WWII as a cover up for the invention of the radar. "How come the Brits are shooting down our planes much better now?" "Because they are eating carrots" (No srsly, I've read it). –  Sklivvz May 2 '11 at 16:27
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A more interesting question is whether NOT eating enough vitamin-A rich food can worsen your eyesight –  DVK May 2 '11 at 16:52
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@ Sklivvz: Wikipedia has it, in Carrot: "An urban legend ... developed from stories of British gunners in World War II, who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. ... during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies ... use of red light ... in aircraft instruments. ... helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable." –  Peter Mortensen May 2 '11 at 23:02
    
@Sklivvz I was taught the very same at school :) –  Ardesco May 3 '11 at 13:10
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1 Answer

up vote 40 down vote accepted

This has been extensively debunked by many medical sites, and Snopes. Here are some links:

From Snopes:

While carrots are a good source of vitamin A (which is important for healthy eyesight, skin, growth, and resisting infection), eating them won't improve vision. The purported link between carrots and markedly acute vision is a matter of lore, not of science. And it's lore of the deliberately manufactured type. In World War II, Britain's air ministry spread the word that a diet of these vegetables helped pilots see Nazi bombers attacking at night. That was a lie intended to cover the real matter of what was underpinning the Royal Air Force's successes: Airborne Interception Radar, also known as AI. The secret new system pinpointed some enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. British Intelligence didn't want the Germans to find out about the superior new technology helping protect the nation, so they created a rumor to afford a somewhat plausible-sounding explanation for the sudden increase in bombers being shot down. News stories began appearing in the British press about extraordinary personnel manning the defenses, including Flight Lieutenant John Cunningham, an RAF pilot dubbed "Cats Eyes" on the basis of his exceptional night vision that allowed him to spot his prey in the dark. Cunningham's abilities were chalked up to his love of carrots. Further stories claimed RAF pilots were being fed goodly amounts of this root vegetable to foster similar abilities.

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Wow, that is a much more interesting answer than I had hoped for. :D –  Kit Sunde May 2 '11 at 23:08
    
My mom keeps telling me to eat more carrots to improve my eyesight. I wish she would see this. –  Jason Feb 12 '13 at 10:24
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