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Some vitamins slow cataract growth

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BOSTON, Aug 10, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Tufts University researchers say long-term intake of vitamins B, E and C may inhibit cataract development.

Age-related cataract is the world's leading cause of blindness but surgical correction is currently the only known option for intervention. The researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University sought to determine if prevention is possible.

In one study, lead scientist Paul Jacques, director of the center's Nutritional Epidemiology Program, and his colleagues analyzed the diets and examined the eyes of a group of Boston-area women during a five-year period. Those reporting supplementing their diets with vitamin E for 10 years or more had significantly less progression of cataract development.

Similar findings were seen among those reporting higher intakes of two B vitamins, riboflavin and thiamin.

"Our results," said Jacques, "suggest vitamin supplementation, particularly long-term use of vitamin E, may slow cataract development."

An earlier study indicated similar results for vitamin C.

The study's complete findings appear in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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