Eye Disease Cataracts: In women caused by diet

Eye Disease Cataracts: In women caused by diet

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If you pay attention to a healthy diet with a lot of vitamin C, you can counteract a progressive clouding of the eye lens in old age. This is suggested by the results of a study by King’s College London, in which 324 female twins, aged between 60 and 70 on average, were involved. The cataract eye disease is the most common cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. There is no drug therapy, so the cloudy lens has to be replaced by an artificial lens.

The subjects took part in eye tests at the beginning of the study and after an average of ten years. In addition, they provided information on their eating habits and on taking nutritional supplements in questionnaires.

The study showed that only a third of the cataract's progress and severity was due to genetic factors. Environmental conditions, age and lifestyle (including nutrition) played a significantly larger role with over 60 percent, the authors write in the journal "Ophthalmology".

A healthy diet high in vitamin C reduced the risk of progressive clouding of the eye lens by 33 percent. After 10 years of observation, the eye lens was clearer in these women than in peers with a diet low in vitamin C. The researchers suspect that the vitamin accumulates in the eye fluid and reduces oxidative stress. It traps aggressive oxygen radicals, which are apparently responsible for the clouding of the lens. There was also evidence of a positive effect of the trace element manganese in food. However, nutrient preparations did not have a demonstrably protective effect. The correlations are to be examined in more detail in further studies. It is not yet clear whether the results can also be transferred to men, younger people and other cultures.

"If you use the variety of foods, eat varied and wholesome, you can usually meet your nutritional needs without any problems," explains nutritionist Harald Seitz from aid infodienst. "Eating lots of fresh food is particularly important in old age." If the diet is one-sided, it may make sense for seniors to take supplements containing folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Vitamin C supplements are usually not necessary, says Seitz. Important vitamin suppliers are berries, kiwi and citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and mandarins, but also peppers, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. The trace element manganese is mainly found in cereals, legumes and rice, but also in spinach and black tea. (Heike Kreutz, aid)

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Video: Diagnosing and Treating Cataracts (June 2022).