Antioxidants and vitamins linked to reduced risk of cataracts
Anna Seward - Aug 2013
A study has shown that certain antioxidants may help to reduce the risk of age-related cataracts.
People with a high intake of antioxidants and certain vitamins may benefit from a reduced risk of age-related cataracts, new research suggests.
Cataracts affect the majority of people over the age of 65 and occur when the lens develops cloudy patches, making the person's vision blurred or misty.
The condition can be treated with cataract surgery - one of the most common operations performed in the UK - but most people would prefer to prevent the problem rather than have this procedure in order to restore their sight.
A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that boosting levels of antioxidants and vitamins - either by dietary means or by taking a high-quality antioxidant supplement - could help to ward off this common complaint.
Scientists at Guangzhou Medical University and Jinan University in China conducted a meta-analysis in order to see whether or not an association existed between the levels of antioxidants or vitamins in people's blood and their risk of age-related cataracts.
They identified 13 relevant studies involving almost 19,000 participants and identified a number of interesting patterns.
Vitamin E, alpha-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin were all found to be inversely associated with cataracts, meaning that the more of these nutrients people had in their blood, the lower their risk.
Interestingly, higher levels of vitamins A and C seemed to be linked with a reduced risk of cataracts in Asian populations, but not in people from western nations.
Commenting on their findings, the study authors said the results provided "evidence supporting that blood levels of certain antioxidants are inversely associated with risk of age-related cataract".
They added that more research is needed to clarify the role of antioxidant and vitamin supplementation for the prevention of vision problems.
Carotenes, vitamins C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin all feature in a food supplement called AlphaGuard Plus, which is supplied by Really Healthy.
This high-quality vegetarian supplement can help to support eye health, as well as protecting cells throughout the body from harmful reactive molecules called free radicals, which can lead to degenerative conditions as we age.
These nutrients are just a few of the wide array of antioxidants that feature in AlphaGuard Plus, working together to provide natural protection.