Vitamin C helps prevent cataracts

Researchers at King’s College London have discovered that there is a link between the nutrients in our diet and prevention of cataracts.
Helen Tilley, optometrist at Monnow Eyecare explains “Here in the UK, cataracts are most common in older people, with around 50% of those aged over 85 developing them.  It’s estimated that it affects 2.4 million pensioners in England and Wales. Fortunately, a surgical procedure can be used to remove them”. Cataracts make our vision more opaque (less clear).

The London researchers compared 1,000 pairs of women twins. They used digital imaging to measure the lenses of their subject for the development of cataracts aged both 60 and then again 10 years later, at 70. The participants also filled in detailed questionnaires about their diet, which gave the research team information about the amount of Vitamin C they consumed. The findings revealed that there is up to 30% lower risk of developing cataracts if you eat a high level of vitamin C.

The research found that eating the right diet is more important than genetic factors in preventing cataracts. The scientists believe that vitamin C is helpful in cataract prevention because it acts as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants help our cells and tissues stay healthy as they reduce the numbers of damaging free radical molecules.

It’s easy to get the right intake of Vitamin C in your diet this summer by eating plenty of fresh citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. There’s also high Vitamin C in raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, pineapples, papaya and cantaloupe melon. Vegetables rich in the vitamin include broccoli, sprouts, green beans, carrots, squash and peppers.

It’s easy to book an eye check-up with Helen or with another member of our team, who will all be able to advice you about a healthy diet as part of your eye exam. Simply pop into the practice on Cinderhill Street or call us on 01600 715299

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