Supplemental vitamins E and C don’t prevent cataracts in men

January 01, 0001

Supplemental vitamins E and C don’t prevent cataracts in men

These US authors conducted a randomized controlled trial to test whether supplementation with alternate-day vitamin E (400 IU) or daily vitamin C (500 mg) affects the incidence of age-related cataract in men. They included, 11,545 apparently healthy US male physicians 50 years or older without a diagnosis of cataract at baseline.

They found: "After 8 years of treatment and follow-up, 1174 incident cataracts were confirmed. There were 579 cataracts in the vitamin E-treated group and 595 in the vitamin E placebo group (hazard ratio, 0.99; NS). For vitamin C, there were 593 cataracts in the treated group and 581 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 1.02; NS)."

The authors concluded: "Long-term alternate-day use of 400 IU of vitamin E and daily use of 500 mg of vitamin C had no notable beneficial or harmful effect on the risk of cataract."

The belief that vitamin E or C supplementation can prevent cataracts should be laid to rest.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Ophthalmol 128(11):1397-1405, November 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Age-Related Cataract in a Randomized Trial of Vitamins E and C in Men. William G. Christen, Robert J. Glynn, Howard D. Sesso, et al. Correspondence to Dr. Christen: [email protected]

Category: E. Eye. Keywords: cataracts, men, vitamin E, vitamin C, randomized controlled trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 23 November 2009

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.