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Multi-vitamin pills may lower cataract risk

Posted on Feb 21 2014 | IANS

New York, Feb 21 : Are you taking multi-vitamin supplements daily? Good news for your eyes.

Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use may lower cataract risk in men, says a study.

"If multivitamins really do reduce the risk of cataract, even by a modest 10 percent, this rather small reduction would nonetheless have a large public health impact," said William Christen, a researcher from Harvard Medical School.

Past studies have indicated a relationship between nutritional supplement use and eye health.

Researchers based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School conducted a randomised study of 14,641 US male doctors age 50 and older.

Half took a common daily multivitamin, as well as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene supplements.

The other half took a placebo. The researchers found that in the placebo group, 945 cases of cataract developed while only 872 cases of cataract developed in the multivitamin group - representing a 9 percent decrease in risk.

This risk was even lower - at 13 percent, for nuclear cataract which occurs at the centre of the lens and is the most common variety of cataract associated with the aging process.

"Clearly, this finding needs to be examined further in other trials of multivitamin supplements in both men and women," Christen added.

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