March 29

Can Antioxidants Prevent Cataracts?

Tracy Campbell
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

Throughout the world, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and vision loss. In the United States, more than 50 percent of all people aged 80 years and older have had cataract surgery, costing an estimated $6.8 billion a year. Cataract surgery is the only definitive way to treat cataracts.

Because of limited resources, citizens of developing countries often are unable to afford cataract surgery and must suffer through progressive lens opacity that makes it not only harder to see under regular conditions but also especially hard to see at night or when glare is an issue.

In other words, it’s really hard (and dangerous) for people with cataracts to drive at night.

Because of the limited availability of cataract surgery in many countries throughout the world, experts in the field have long been searching for a way to prevent cataracts. It’s estimated that discovery of a preventive measure that delays the onset of cataracts by 10 years could result in a 50 percent decrease in visual and surgical burden. Currently, many eye researchers believe that consumption of antioxidants in some manner may prevent cataracts.

A generally well-accepted hypothesis concerning the development of age-related cataracts pegs oxidative stress and osmotic imbalances as a cause. More specifically, an excess of free radicals damage lens proteins and lipids in the epithelium thus obfuscating the lens and leading to progressive opacity. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E stabilize these free radicals, and thus squelch the destruction free radicals cause.

In fact, we know that the lens preferentially stockpiles some antioxidants like suchaslutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

To be sure, factors other than oxidative stress and free radicals also play a role in the development of cataracts including:

UV light

alcohol consumption

diabetes

hormone therapy

smoking

obesity

Such factors likely further exacerbate oxidative stress and impair your eye’s ability to defend against damage or repair lens damage.

Results from a Swedish study published in JAMA Ophthalmology in 2014 suggest that prevalence of cataracts is reduced among people who regularly consume antioxidant-rich foods like leafy vegetables, whole grains, and coffee. In this large study of middle-aged and elderly women, confounding variables such as smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and educational level were adjusted for, and results were still statistically significant.

Because increased levels of antioxidants in a person’s diet are associated with a lower prevalence of cataract formation, it’s tempting to think that antioxidant supplements may also decrease your risk for cataracts, too. However, research into whether antioxidant supplements work to prevent cataracts has yielded inconsistent results.

One recent randomized-control trial published in the journal Ophthalmology in 2014 suggests that multivitamins rich in antioxidant mixtures reduced the risk of nuclear cataract — a type of cataract — by 9 percent during a period of 11.2 years.

Another study suggests that in those research participants already eating a diet rich in antioxidants, high-dose antioxidant supplementation may actually increase risk of cataract formation. This counterintuitive finding is attributed to the hypothesis that in excess amounts, antioxidants can actually convert over to pro-oxidants and cause oxidative stress.

A reason why individual antioxidant supplements or multivitamin preparations do little to prevent cataracts probably has to do with the complexity of human metabolism. To date, no limited and artificial combination can yet reproduce the antioxidant-rich milieu present in healthy foods. Furthermore, there are likely many more antioxidants that we have yet to discover, and these unknown antioxidants probably play a big role in the prevention of cataracts and other types of disease.

Research shows antioxidant supplements do little to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, a diet rich in leafy vegetable, colorful fruits and other sources of antioxidants has been associated with decreased risk for cancer and heart disease. Similarly, whereas a balanced diet rich in antioxidants may help prevent cataract formation, current antioxidant supplements likely do little to prevent the disease. Ultimately, if you hope to leverage the benefit of antioxidants, your best bet is to consume antioxidants within the context of a nutritious diet and avoid taking antioxidant supplements that likely do little and might even cause harm.

by Naveed Saleh For Very Well

Comments

Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
or
Services
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter
Sort
 
All categories
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Come Home to Yourself HEALING/Life- Coaching Session

When you aren’t sure which way to turn or who to turn to for help in making decisions, I will help you come home to yourself and forge a plan to manifest your …

Dr. Michele S. Zirkle
United States of America flag icon
Channeling
$50 USD
Healing guidance session

You prepare your questions and I channel the root cause of the issue, as easy as that!

Every session looks different. We dive deep into the root and heal it f…

Nanna
5
Sweden flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$20 USD
Compassionate energy healing

For those times when we feel we need the energetic space to let our whole being restore itself. The healing is meant to give you a sense of safety and feel lik…

Nanna
Sweden flag icon
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Reiki and Energy Healing (Distant)

Reiki and energy healing is done by distance while a client is resting and the practitioner sends healing energy to the client. Clients have found that the en…

Beverly Lynn
Canada flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$80 USD
Soul Healing and Spiritual Advice

If you need a change in your life, if you are stuck and really want to move forward, if you see unwanted repeated patterns of life events or people’s behaviour…

Yavenirie - Spiritual Witchery Practice and…
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Initial consultation for Spiritual Advice or Soul Healing Journey

You can book an initial spiritual consultation with me to touch base on your struggles and ways we can work together. The session will be online for around 15 …

Yavenirie - Spiritual Witchery Practice and…
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Shamanic Healing
$10 USD
Light the Path to Your Desired Life

If you want find what is that in life that makes you happy and fulfilled you need to heal all levels of your existence- Body, Mind, and Spirit. We are all ener…

Change Naturopathy
New Zealand flag icon
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
The Power Of Emotional Healing - EFT Program

“The Power of Emotional Healing” is energy psychology education in the Emotional Freedom Technique with the perfect balance of information, instructions, video…

Dawn Cady
Australia flag icon
Positive Psychology
$10 USD
Initial Phone/Video Consult

Explore the fit and hear how I would address your therapeutic goal

Alex Guthrie, LMFT
United States of America flag icon
Art Therapy
$50 USD
Artist Teacher Workshop Or Tutoring

“Life Force” guiding our history, our body and spirits. Self portrait art, life drawing from the live model, gesture, and plein air painting. And extended cont…

Bryan Prillwitz
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$100 USD
Timeline Reading

EGYPTIAN TAROT READINGS using unique methods developed by Nelise Carbonare, a Brazilian healer with more than 40 years of experience in tarot consultations, as…

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$120 USD
THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID

THE SYNERGY OF THE PYRAMID focuses on a specific relationship: One side for the consultant and one for their partner. (the partner does not need to be present …

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Pick one card

Many questions can be answer with just one Arcane.

Do you want to try?

Nelise Carbonare
United States of America flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$50 USD
Spiritual Coaching - Removing Energy Blocks - Expansion

> “Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.” Jung

Spiritual coaching is about moving you into a profound state of empowerment and involution m…

Kimla Rose (Kim Desrosiers)
United States of America flag icon
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Life Purpose and Soul Wisdom

What is your deeper truth, your deeper knowing, your MOJO, your deepest desires, those feelings that you can’t explain but that are so pure and so clear…or may…

Anna Beale
United States of America flag icon
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Your Missing Manual for Health & Life!

Are you constantly reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts trying to figure out what to do to be healthy?

With so much conflicting information out ther…

Pamela Malo
United States of America flag icon
Nutritional Therapy
$150 USD
Nutritional Therapy Consultation

Hi my name is Aria and I am the founder of Heal with Nutrition. I am a registered Nutritional Therapist and a Naturopath who has a passion on Nutrition and Hea…

Aria Alexandrou
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
THOTH AND HERMETIC DECKS READING

With a deep knowledge of hermeticism and being introduced to the kabbalah tradition of the emanation process from the tree of life, I provide a deep insight co…

James Marchiori
Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$55 USD
The Bridge to Your Desired Life

This is were you get real help with your struggles and life challenges. As life gets harder to cope with, we tend to look for external ways to get through. And…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Naturopathy
$10 USD
Intake Consult

short introduction consult to Integrative Medicine

Femke Neervoort
Netherlands flag icon
Career Coaching
$300 USD
Reset Coaching and Mentoring Programme

12 weeks of bi-weekly 90 minutes 1:1 Coaching and Mentoring. Total cost USD1800 (6x90minutes career coaching and mentoring session)

Are you returning to work …

Carla Martins
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland flag icon
Personal Development Coaching
$120 USD
Spiritual Life Coach Session-Personalized Session

Personalized Sessions

Because Everyone Is Unique

Client-centered sessions based on the area of focus requested by the client.

Each session is a LIVE Sessio…

Deborah Lucero
United States of America flag icon
Reiki
$55 USD
Guidance, Inspiration & Healing

This type of session is a favorite among many of my clients, as it is often times one of the smoothest way to address a challenge to reach a happier and health…

Mina Mikhail
United States of America flag icon
Mediumism
$10 USD
Psychic Readings

I specialize in love, past present future, future, past life, general, tarot, dream interpretation, specific, social, and career readings! Book today for clari…

Holly
United States of America flag icon

Related Articles