Antioxidants in the diet help to prevent cataracts. Thirty thousand women in Sweden were followed for an average of 7.7 years. The incidence of cataracts was compared with dietary antioxidant intake. (JAMA March 10, 2015 pp 1048-49) Women ingesting the highest dietary antioxidants had a significantly lower incidence of cataracts than those with the lowest antioxidant intake.
The main sources of antioxidants were fruits and vegetables, whole grains and coffee.
There was no mention of antioxidants taken as nutritional supplements. Several formulations are available, mainly containing carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, and alpha lipoic acid. If you have cataracts, or are concerned about getting them, consider raising your antioxidant intake. Have more fruits and vegetables, and maybe more coffee. Coffee is getting more favorable press these days, mainly for its antioxidant content. Most coffee is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, so look for organic varieties.
We have also employed a prescription eyedrop available from compounding pharmacies. It contains vitamin C and glutathione, both antioxidants, along with DMSO to enhance penetration into the eye. Ask us about it.
Allan Sosin, MD