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Research finds that vitamin C helps ward off the leading cause of blindness worldwide - cataracts

by , 01 March 2017
Research finds that vitamin C helps ward off the leading cause of blindness worldwide - cataracts
While vitamin C is fantastic for preventing colds, this isn't the only health benefit that it offers...

According to a recent study published in the journal Ophthalmology, this water-soluble vitamin that's naturally present in foods like citrus fruits, papayas, broccoli and tomatoes may also help prevent something more serious - cataracts.

“While we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C,” lead researcher behind the study, Dr Christopher Hammond, said in a university news release.

Keep reading to understand how vitamin C can help prevent cataracts.

Study finds that getting high amounts of vitamin C in your diet can help prevent cataracts

Cataracts are common and occur naturally with age, causing your eye’s lens to become cloudy. That said, they’re still serious and are in fact the leading cause of blindness worldwide!
 
To reach their findings, Dr Hammond, who’s the professor of ophthalmology at Kings College London, and his team looked at over 1,000 pairs of 60-year-old female twins living in Britain. They discovered that those who got high amounts of vitamin C in their diets had a 33% lower risk of cataract over 10 years, compared to those who didn’t consume much vitamin C-rich foods. 
 
Surprisingly, the team noted that getting vitamin C via a supplement didn’t appear to reduce the risk of cataract.

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Diet may play a bigger role than genetics in cataract development, researchers report

According to the researchers, this is the first study to find that lifestyle factors like diet may play a bigger role than genetics in cataract development and severity.
 
Dr Hammond reported that based on the outcome of this study, genetics probably account for no more than 35% of the risk of cataract development and progression, with diet and environmental factors accounting for the remaining 65%.
 
While this study found a linked between high vitamin C consumption through foods and prevention of cataracts, it wasn’t able to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
 
“The most important finding was that vitamin C intake from food seemed to protect against cataract progression,” concluded Dr Hammond.

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