Posted on Jun 24, 2010, 6 a.m.
In women, a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals slashes the risks of developing cataracts by up to 37%.
Cataracts, the most common type of opacity affecting the lens of the eye, tend to occur in a higher prevalence in women who have myopia, hypertension, smoke, and/or are overweight/obese. Julie A. Mares, from the University of Wisconsin/Madison (Wisconsin, USA), and colleagues assessed the dietary intake of 1,808 women, ages 50 to 79 years, participating in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, and tracked the subjects for the development of cataracts. The team found that women who consumed foods rich in vitamins and minerals were at a 37% reduced risk of developing nuclear cataracts. Speculating that a healthy diet lowers oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, both of which may reduce the development of cataract, the researchers conclude that: “These data add to the body of evidence suggesting that eating foods rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals may contribute to postponing the occurrence of the most common type of cataract in the United States.”
Julie A. Mares; Rick Voland; Rachel Adler; Lesley Tinker; Amy E. Millen; Suzen M. Moeller; Barbara Blodi; Karen M. Gehrs; Robert B. Wallace; Richard J. Chappell; Marian L. Neuhouser; Gloria E. Sarto; for the CAREDS Group. “Healthy Diets and the Subsequent Prevalence of Nuclear Cataract in Women.” Arch Ophthalmol, Jun 2010; 128: 738 - 749.