While lack of sleep and genetic tendencies can contribute to dark circles under the eyes, nutrition also plays a role. Some dietary supplements can counteract the nutrient deficiencies that contribute to dark circles. Others supplements supply nutrients that support healthy blood vessels and collagen around the eyes. If you have any health conditions or take medications, consult your health care provider before starting a supplement regimen.
Iron deficiency can lead to dark under-eye circles, notes a February 2007 article in the online edition of the Daily Mail. It can also cause paler skin, making shadows under the eyes the stand out more. Around 20 percent of women and 3 percent of men are deficient in this mineral, with pregnant woman at even greater risk for deficiency. Women need 18mg daily, while men need 8mg. To avoid iron overload, discuss your optimal dosage with your health care provider before taking iron supplements, particularly if you're a man or a women past reproductive age.
Getting more vitamin B9, or folic acid, may help reduce your dark circles. As with other B vitamins, B9 is vital for healthy skin and eyes. Adults need around 400mcg of this vitamin daily. Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12; because B vitamins work together as a group, supplements usually contain the whole B vitamin complex, rather than just one vitamin.
When blood vessels under the eyes become weak and dilated, dark circles can appear. Loss of collagen under the eyes, which leads to thinner skin, also increases the appearance of under-eye shadows. Taking vitamin C may help you combat this by strengthening your blood vessels and supporting healthy collagen. Adult men require 90mg daily, while women need 75mg daily. Smokers require even more. If you smoke, consult your health care provider about dosage.
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract contains antioxidants called oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, or OPCs, which support blood vessel health and can help fade dark circles, according to the website DailyGlow.com. This extract's effect on the blood vessels is so strong that it may help with chronic venous insufficiency in the legs. It may also protect collagen, note experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center. For vascular health, take 150 to 300mg daily, suggest UMMC experts. If you take anticoagulants like warafin, consult your health care provider before using grape seed extract.