Articles

A possible role for vitamins C and E in cataract prevention.

Author

Robertson JM, Donner AP, Trevithick JR

Date

1/1991

Journal

Am J Clin Nutr

Abstract

Biochemical evidence suggests that oxidative stress caused by accumulation of free radicals is involved in the pathogenesis of senile cataracts. If so, appropriate amounts of the antioxidant vitamins C and E might be expected to prevent or retard the process. Such activity has been observed in several in vitro and in vivo studies of experimentally-induced cataracts. A recent epidemiologic study found that cataract patients tended to have lower serum levels of vitamins C, E, or carotenoids than did control subjects. The present investigation, which compared the self-reported consumption of supplementary vitamins by 175 cataract patients with that of 175 individually matched, cataract-free subjects, revealed that the latter group used significantly more supplementary vitamins C and E (P = 0.01 and 0.004, respectively). Because the results suggested a reduction in the risk of cataracts of at least 50%, a randomized, controlled trial of vitamin supplementation in cataract prevention may be warranted.