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Your Diet and Cataracts

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Women who eat a lot of green, leafy vegetables and have high intakes of vitamin E, have a lower risk of developing cataracts, a study found.

Those in the study who ate the most lutein and zeaxanthin were 18 percent less likely over 10 years to develop cataracts than those who consumed the least amounts of the nutrients, said researchers in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

The findings add to previous research that showed diets rich in lutein and zeaxanthin might protect the eyes as people age, said lead author, epidemiologist William Christen, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Christen said a trial in which researchers can control consumption of the nutrients is needed for conclusive results.

The researchers reviewed the questionnaires of 35,551 women who didn't have cataracts and provided information on what they ate. Women who had the highest intake of vitamin E, through foods such as sweet potatoes, almonds, and supplements, had a 14 percent lower risk of developing cataracts than those who consumed the least, the study showed.

 

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