Increased Dietary Vitamin C Could Help Protect Against Cataracts

635944112064521991eyehealth.jpg

24 Mar 2016 --- Eating foods high in vitamin C has been found to cut risk of cataract progression by a third in new research.

Research by King's College London (KCL) scientists is the first to show that diet and lifestyle may outweigh genetics when it comes to common eye condition.

Higher dietary intake of vitamin C has been found to have a potentially preventative effect on cataract progression in the first twin study of cataracts to examine to what degree genetic and environmental factors influence their progression with age.
 
Cataract is a common condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy as a result of oxidation over time. Whilst this is a natural part of ageing for many, for others it is more severe and causes blurred vision, glare and dazzle that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
 
Cataract surgery is the most common operation performed in the UK with more than 300,000 procedures carried out each year.
 
The study, published in the journal Ophthalmology, looked at the progression of cataracts in the eyes of 324 pairs of female twins from the Twins UK registry over 10 years by examining photographs of the participant's lenses that allowed them to analyze the level of opacity of the lens in detail. Participant intake of vitamin C was also measured using a food questionnaire.
 
They found that those participants who had a higher intake of vitamin C were associated with a 33 percent risk reduction of cataract progression and had 'clearer' lenses after the 10 years than those who had consumed less vitamin C as part of their diet.
 
The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Guide Dogs for the Blind, also found that environmental factors (including diet) influenced cataract more than genetic factors, which only explained a third (35 percent) of the change in lens opacity.
 
The fluid in the eye that bathes the lens is high in vitamin C, which helps to stop the lens from oxidizing and protects it from becoming cloudy. It is thought that increased intake of vitamin C has a protective effect on cataract progression by increasing the vitamin C available in the eye fluid.
 
Professor Chris Hammond, consultant eye surgeon and lead author of the study from the Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Sciences, said: “The findings of this study could have significant impact, particularly for the ageing population globally by suggesting that simple dietary changes such as increased intake of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthier diet could help protect them from cataracts.”
 
“While we cannot avoid getting older, diabetes and smoking are also risk factors for this type of cataract, and so a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle generally should reduce the risk of needing a cataract operation.”
 
Kate Yonova-Doing, the study's first author said: “The human body cannot manufacture vitamin C, so we depend on vitamins in the food we eat. We did not find a significantly reduced risk in people who took vitamin tablets, so it seems that a healthy diet is better than supplements.”
 
Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in the world, affecting approximately 20 million people, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where healthcare is less readily available.
 
Limitations of the study include that the participants are predominantly of UK-origin and female, reflecting cataract progression between the ages of 60 and 70 years on average, so may not be generalizable.
 
Also, observational studies like this cannot rule out the impact of other factors relating to a healthy diet that may also have had an effect on the progression of cataracts.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Energetic growth: Energy boosters add pep to the nutritional space’s step

11 Dec 2017 --- Busy schedules can cause consumers to go through an “energy crisis” – prompting their desire to reach for products that might offer some support to their energy levels. Energy boosters are certainly showing signs of growth in all regions tracked by Innova Market Insights. A CAGR in supplement launches of +208.8 percent in South America from 2012 to 2016 is particularly noteworthy, while Europe is top of the pile worldwide with 28.8 percent of its supplement launches having an energy claim in 2016 and its CAGR amounting to a strong +86.7 percent.

Food Ingredients News

One in four consumers spend less than five minutes on weekday breakfast: DSM survey

07 Dec 2017 --- DSM has found that one in four consumers spend less than five minutes on breakfast on weekdays, and half of consumers spend less than 15 minutes on breakfast. The findings are some of the results of DSM’s Breakfast Insights survey, which also include suggestions that the main reason for skipping breakfast is lack of time and consumers are paying more attention to the lack of sugar in their breakfast.

Business News

Kappa Bioscience reveals free vitamin K2 MK-7 quality testing program

06 Dec 2017 --- Kappa Bioscience has announced the worldwide launch of a free vitamin K2 MK-7 quality testing program. The program, announced at CPhI India, is open to finished K2 products, from any source, for testing and verification of the product’s K2 label claim. The program supports wider goals of educating markets about K2 stability and advancing K2 science to resolve the question of why unprotected K2 is unstable in mineral formulations. 

Food Ingredients News

Ingredia presents milk proteins in shelf-stable and high protein snacking concepts

05 Dec 2017 --- Consumers around the world are increasingly interested in achieving wellness through a healthy diet. To meet this mainstream trend, food and dairy producers continue to reduce fat content while increasing the protein amount in their products. At this year's FiE, Ingredia were presenting healthy, convenient and indulgent products with their PROMILK 600 A and PROMILK SH 20 dairy ingredients.

Nutrition & Health News

Kyowa brings Setria Glutathione’s benefits to curious European consumers

05 Dec 2017 --- Following the launch of its flagship Setria Glutathione product, Kyowa Hakko is keenly watching and helping build the European market for immunity, beauty and sports nutrition products at a key time in its development. Earlier this year, the company launched its glutathione product in the European market. Manufactured through a patented fermentation process, the product can help replenish the body’s reserves of glutathione that may be depleted through poor diet, damaging lifestyle habits or aging.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/increased-dietary-vitamin-c-could-help-protect-against-cataracts.html