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Study examines link between cataracts and antioxidants

Researchers recently examined the responses to a questionnaire-based survey that was given to women who participated in the Swedish Mammography Cohort study to determine if there is an association between antioxidants in the diet and age-related cataracts. With cataracts being the leading cause of blindness around the world, researchers are hoping to find ways to prevent the development of cataracts and thus reduce the impact that cataracts have on vision and on medical costs by 50%. More than 30,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83 years of age participated in the Cohort study and they were observed for age-related cataracts for a mean of 7.7 years. Researchers used the Total Antioxidant Capacity (TAC) to determine the amount of antioxidants in the diet. A database of foods analyzed with the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay served as the basis for the TAC of the participants' diet. What researchers found was that dietary TAC was conversely associated with the risk of age-related cataract. Researchers note that further studies that take into account all antioxidants in the diet in order to validate or discredit these study findings.

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