Posted on Jan 13, 2014, 6 a.m.
Antioxidant-rich foods – including oranges, whole grains, coffee, and tea – may help to lower the risk of cataracts, among aging women.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Previous studies have suggested that oxidative damage of the eye's lens, caused by free radicals, may be a critical aspect in the development of cataract. Antioxidant compounds, which are thought to counteract free radical activity, are present in abundant amounts in foods such as oranges, whole grains, coffee, and tea. Susanne Rautiainen, from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and colleagues examined the diets of 30,607 Swedish women, ages 49 to 83 years, enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort study, who were observed for age-related cataract incidence for a mean of 7.7 years. The team utilized the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) value of various foods, as were consumed by the study subjects. The researchers found that the women who ate foods rich in antioxidants experienced a lower risk of cataracts as they age. Specifically, the study authors noted that: "Dietary [total antioxidant capacity] was inversely associated with the risk of age-related cataract."
Susanne Rautiainen; Birgitta Ejdervik Lindblad; Ralf Morgenstern; Alicja Wolk. “Total Antioxidant Capacity of the Diet and Risk of Age-Related Cataract: A Population-Based Prospective Cohort of Women.” JAMA Ophthalmology, 26 Dec. 2013.