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Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Sep;98(3):778-86. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.053835. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Association of blood antioxidants and vitamins with risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis of observational studies.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Basic Sciences, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China.



Observational studies have been inconsistent regarding the association between blood antioxidants or vitamins and risk of age-related cataract.


We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether an association exists between blood levels of antioxidants or vitamins and age-related cataract in observational studies.


We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Web of Science for relevant studies from inception to October 2012. Study-specific risk estimates were combined by using a random-effects model.


A total of 13 studies with 18,999 participants were involved in this meta-analysis. A pooled estimate showed vitamin E (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.96), α-carotene (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.59, 0.88), lutein (OR: 0.75; 95% CI: 0.65, 0.87), and zeaxanthin (OR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.60, 0.82) were inversely associated with age-related cataract. Vitamins A (OR: 0.69; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.83) and C (OR: 0.67; 95% CI: 0.57, 0.78) were inversely associated with age-related cataract in Asian populations but not in Western populations. β-Carotene (OR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.78, 1.05), lycopene (OR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.65, 1.15), and β-cryptoxanthin (OR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.68, 1.02) had no significant association with risk of cataract.


This meta-analysis provides additional evidence supporting the view that blood levels of certain antioxidants are inversely associated with risk of age-related cataract. However, the role of antioxidant or vitamin supplement intake in preventing cataract should be further investigated in interventional studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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