Low Antioxidant Levels Tied to Cataracts

A study conducted in North India found that people with low levels of antioxidants had higher levels of cataracts.

Several recent studies have shown antioxidants are important in fighting macular degeneration. We are now learning how important these same antioxidants may be for preventing cataracts as well.

How can you boost your antioxidant levels? Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially those high in yellow, orange and dark green pigments.

In this new study 1,112 participants aged 50 or older were interviewed for risk factors (tobacco, alcohol, biomass fuel use, sunlight exposure and socioeconomic status) and underwent lens photography and blood sampling to measure antioxidant levels.

Researchers found significant inverse associations between cataracts and the antioxidants vitamin C, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin; people with lower levels of these antioxidants had higher rates of cataracts.

Read more about antioxidants

Learn more about cataracts

SOURCE: Dherani M, Murthy GV, Gupta SK, et al. Blood levels of vitamin C, carotenoids and retinol are inversely associated with cataract in a North Indian population. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2008;49(8):3328-35.