High intake of dietary vitamin C may help delay the onset of cataracts, according to research published online March 23 in Ophthalmology.
Christopher Hammond, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Kings College London, and colleagues studied more than 1,000 pairs of 60-year-old British female twins. The researchers found that those who took in high amounts of vitamin C in their diet had a one-third lower risk of cataract over 10 years. Getting vitamin C via a supplement did not appear to reduce the risk.
Based on the findings, Hammond’s team now believes that a person’s genetics probably account for 35 percent of the risk of cataract progression, while diet and other environmental factors may account for the other 65 percent.
“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,” Hammond said in a journal news release.