Superoxide Dismutase (2013) and Cataract


Learn more about cataracts.

Researchers have established that oxidative stress plays a key role in development of cataracts, glaucoma and many other vision and health conditions.

The health of the body's natural antioxidant defense system is founded on the principle of balance - a balance of antioxidants against oxidative stressors such as UV light, toxins, etc.

Researchers investigated the activity of antioxidants that behave as enzymes to stimulate this defense system with respect to development of cataracts. They looked at levels of the enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase and the damaging biochemicals that result from oxidative stress.

The study included 60 patients with cataracts and 60 age-matched subjects with healthy eyes. The reseachers took blood samples from the 120 participants and analyzed them for content of the three antioxidant enzymes and six different toxic biochemicals which are hallmarks of oxidative stress.

They found that levels of the antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase were significantly lower in the cataract patients than in the control group with healthy eyes. They also found that the cataract patients had markedly higher levels of three of the toxic biochemicals and somewhat higher levels of the others.

Their conclusion was that a weak oxidative defense system was associated with greater oxidative stress and should be a useful target in combating development of cataracts.

Researchers: D. Chang, X. Zhang, et al,
Published: Serum Antioxidative Enzymes Levels and Oxidative Stress Products in Age-Related Cataract Patients, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2013.

Also see glutathione and cataracts for more information on related research.