Diet Cataracts

Most cataracts are caused by oxidative damage from lifetime exposure of the lens to light and radiation entering the eye. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E are a major defense against oxidative damage, and eating foods rich in these nutrients each day can reduce the risk of cataract (see Fig. 5.2).1 Regular consumption of galactose, found in the milk sugar lactose, may cause cataracts in people with inherited defects in galactose metabolism. In cases of an inability to metabolize galactose, milk and dairy product consumption should be sharply restricted. Hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and obesity also increase the risk of cataract. All these conditions are modifiable by dietary changes and nutritional supplementation.

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