I don’t remember the exact day, but there was was a time when my girlfriend had told me my eyes looked a lot lighter than usual.
Typically, my eyes are light brownish, hazel, and a bit green. However, she was saying how they were looking light green, so I wondered if keto could be affecting my eye color.
Can keto change the color of your eyes? There has been no scientific literature that proves keto may alter the color of your eyes. However, certain alternative medicine practitioners believe that when an individual detoxifies or becomes more healthy, the eyes do become lighter. Another cause of eye color change may be due to decreased melanin production.
In this article, I’ll go over the different possible reasons your eyes may be changing color, if it’s even possible, and other eye-related questions as it pertains to being on a ketogenic diet.
Can Keto Affect Or Change Your Eye Color?
There are numerous anecdotal reports, including myself, of people who’ve simultaneously switched to a ketogenic diet and have experienced a change in eye color.
The question we’re all wondering is whether that’s possible, and why does that happen?There is no scientific literature that can conclusively say why your eyes may change color after switching diets, but a few ideas are floating around that may explain why it may be occurring.
Remember, the below ideas are just speculation and not proven through science:
- Decreased melanin in the eyes
Can Your Eyes Get Lighter?
If you’re stumbling on this article, you can safely answer this question for yourself.
While I didn’t believe it possible for my eyes to change or get lighter in color, reality dictated otherwise.
Many individuals experience this eye color change after weight loss or switching their diets (usually reported by ketogenic diets and also vegans).
One of the ways in which eyes are reported to get lighter is from the boxy flushing out harmful toxins, which in turn changes the pigments in your eyes.
Some people who experience a change in eye color report a difference in their vision for the better as well.
This is a belief often held by iridologists, who are considered alternative medicine practitioners.
Iridologists believe that the iris contain nerve fibers connected to various parts of the body, and information from different organs in the body is relayed to the iris.
By examining your iris, iridologists determine the health value of different organs according to how light/dark, shape, and depth of fibers in your iris.
When it comes to eye color, the lighter the fibers, the more activity. The darker the area or fiber, the less activity in a particular area.
Melanin is the pigment that gives color to your eyes, but also your hair and skin. The more melanin you have, the darker your eyes or skin will generally be.
You may have noticed that people with very light complexions will also, for the most part, have lighter hair color and lighter eye color, like those of European descent. 1 Also, this is why those who suffer from albinism lack almost any pigment in their hair, skin, or iris.
The melanin in your eyes is what makes them brown, blue, green, or hazel. The less melanin you have, the lighter your eye color and vice versa. 2
It is believed that the amount of melanin usually will stay the same throughout your lifetime. In some cases, eyes may keep changing color through increased or decreased melanin deposits.
This change in melanin deposits can be to a whole host of factors including:
- Lifestyle change (diet)
- Environmental factors
Another semi-related “issue” people report is being able to tan more comfortable and being more resistant to sunburn on keto.
This may be further proof a ketogenic diet is altering melanin production through some mechanism we’re currently unaware of.
Can You Naturally Change Your Eye Color?
There are specific natural remedies that have been used to lower melanin production, which in turn, may potentially lighten your eye color.
However, there is no time table on how long it may take for these remedies to work or if they work at all, so exercise patience. These remedies are primarily aimed at reducing melanin in the skin, but may also apply to other areas such as the hair and eyes.
Aloe vera gel is thought to help reduce melanin production after sun exposure, which is why aloe vera is commonly used after tanning or if you may have gotten a little too much sun (sunburned). 3
While we can’t rub aloe vera on our eyeballs, we can take more concentrated forms via aloe vera supplementation as aloe vera juice isn’t exactly keto-friendly.
Oral ingestion has also been shown to speed up intestinal motility (help with constipation), contains a large number of antioxidants, and may help with those suffering from canker sores on keto. 4
The active compound in turmeric (curcumin) may reduce melanin synthesis according to this study. Curcumin works to suppress the ability of your melanocytes to create more melanin by inhibiting tyrosinase.
It’s best to supplement curcumin with piperine (a black pepper extract) since curcumin by itself is poorly absorbed.
500mg 3x per day or 1,500mg of curcumin total is often used in the scientific literature as an effective dose.
Green tea, most notably the compound in green tea known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), was found to prevent melanin accumulation. 5
A bonus with EGCG is that it’s one of the only semi-effective fat burners on keto you can take. 6 7
125 – 250 mg of EGCG seems to be the sweet spot (and paired with caffeine if using for fat loss)
Currently, there is no scientific evidence that can pinpoint the exact cause of why a ketogenic diet or any other diet may cause a change in eye color.
However, there are numerous reports I’ve personally heard or read from individuals all around the world that have experienced this phenomenon.
Certain alternative medicine practitioners believe that the colors of your iris will appear lighter as your body detoxifies or becomes healthier in general.
Another way a ketogenic diet may be affecting your eye color is through decreased melanin production. Melanin is responsible for the pigment of your skin, hair, and eye color.
But how a ketogenic diet may affect melanin production is still unknown.