diet rich in antioxidants reduces risk of cataracts

Most people over sixty have some degree of cataracts, and cataracts are the most common cause of impaired vision and blindness. Could your solution be as simple as your dinner?

You are not at the mercy of your genes. Though genetic factors account for 35% of cataract formation, recent research has found that a much greater 65% is caused by environmental factors, like diet. That study also found that consuming larger amounts of vitamin C reduces your risk of cataracts.

Other recent research has found that the B vitamins B2, B6 and B12 reduce your risk of getting cataracts.

As we point out in our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia, several studies show that people who eat a lot of foods that are rich in antioxidants are at lower risk of developing cataracts. Now, a just published meta-analysis 8 controlled studies and 12 cohort studies has confirmed these impressive results for dietary vitamins.

The meta-analysis found that, in the cohort studies, most vitamins were associated with a significant reduction in your risk of developing cataracts as you age. The risk was reduced by 20% by vitamin C, 19% by vitamin A, 19% by lutein or zeaxanthin, 10% by vitamin E and 10% by beta-carotene. The controlled studies were not able to confirm the benefit of vitamin E or beta-carotene compared to placebo.

The study found that every 10mg increase per day of lutein or zeaxanthin reduced your risk of age-related cataracts by a significant 26%. Each increase of 500mg a day of vitamin C reduced the risk by a significant 18%. Each 5mg a day increase of vitamin A reduced it by a significant 6%.

The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia list some of the best food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin as spinach, kale, collard greens, corn, potato, carrot, tomato, paprika and fruit.


Am J Clin Nutr 2019;109(1):43-54


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For much more on preventing and treating cataracts and other eye conditions, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For comprehensive help with cataracts, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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