Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E combo eyed for cataract reduct

A higher intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamin E, could reduce the risk of developing cataracts by about 15 per cent, suggests a new study. Over 35,000 women took part in the study, which showed that a high intake of the two carotenoids reduced the risk of cataracts by 18 per cent, while vitamin E was associated with a 14 per cent reduction, reports the study in the Archives of Ophthalmology. «The oxidative hypothesis of cataract formation posits that reactive oxygen species can damage lens proteins and fibre cell membranes and that nutrients with antioxidant capabilities can protect against these changes». The researchers recruited 39,876 female health professionals (average age 53.5) and obtained detailed dietary information from 35,551, using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ). After following the women for 10 years, 2031 cases of cataract were confirmed. By quantifying intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin into five groups, the researchers report that women with the highest average intake (6716 micrograms per day) had an 18 per cent lower risk of developing cataracts than women with the lowest average intake (1177 micrograms per day). Moreover, women with the highest average vitamin E intake from food and supplements (262.4 milligrams per day) were 14 per cent less likely to develop cataracts than women with the lowest average intake (4.4 milligrams per day).
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Source: NutraIngredients