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Z Ernahrungswiss. 1995 Sep;34(3):167-76.

[Antioxidative vitamins and cataracts in the elderly].

[Article in German]

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  • Universität Gesamthochschule Paderborn.


Senile cataract indicates the opacity of ocular lenses occurring in old and especially in very old people. Lens proteins are extremely long-living and often show oxidative damages. Aging and smoking appear to be the greatest risk factors for the development of lens opacities. The sufficient antioxidant protection of young lenses decreases with the aging process. Consequently, the importance of other protective factors increases. Nutritional factors, particularly vitamins with antioxidant properties, may influence the development of senile cataracts in the ocular lens. Meanwhile an association between the supply with vitamin C, E and beta-carotene and the risk of cataract development was demonstrated in animal studies and also in an increasing number of epidemiological studies. These epidemiological studies mainly support the hypothesis that higher vitamin intakes reduce the risk of developing cataracts in old age. The antioxidant properties of the named nutrients give a plausible explanation for the mechanism of cataractogenesis. On the basis of the present data definitive recommendation, necessary for cataract prevention can not yet be established. Some results seem to support higher recommendations. At the moment several large human intervention trials are carried out. Form these studies a further confirmation of the antioxidant hypothesis and of a dose-response-relationship are expected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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