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Dietary carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and risk of cataract in women: A prospective study

Divisions of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215-1204, USA.
Archives of Ophthalmology (Impact Factor: 4.49). 02/2008; 126(1):102-9. DOI: 10.1001/archopht.126.1.102
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine in prospective data the relation between dietary intake of carotenoids and vitamins C and E and the risk of cataract in women.
Dietary intake was assessed at baseline in 39,876 female health professionals by using a detailed food frequency questionnaire. A total of 35,551 women provided detailed information on antioxidant nutrient intake from food and supplements and were free of a diagnosis of cataract. The main outcome measure was cataract, defined as an incident, age-related lens opacity responsible for a reduction in best-corrected visual acuity in the worse eye to 20/30 or worse based on self-report confirmed by medical record review.
A total of 2031 cases of incident cataract were confirmed during a mean of 10 years of follow-up. Comparing women in the extreme quintiles, the multivariate relative risk of cataract was 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.71-0.95; test for trend, P = .04) for lutein/zeaxanthin and 0.86 (95% confidence interval, 0.74-1.00; test for trend, P = .03) for vitamin E from food and supplements.
In these prospective observational data from a large cohort of female health professionals, higher dietary intakes of lutein/zeaxanthin and vitamin E from food and supplements were associated with significantly decreased risks of cataract.

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    • "Given the importance of oxidative stress as a factor generating cataracts, different antioxidant mechanisms have evolved because of their capacity to counteract damaging effects of pro-oxidants. It is well known that depletion of antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E by pro-oxidative agents is related to higher risk of cataracts, and that the risk is decreased with dietary supplementation of these antioxidants in humans (Jacques and Chylack, 1991; Christen et al., 2008). This has also been demonstrated in other mammals (Haque and Gilani, 2005), birds (Ferguson et al., 1956) and fish (Waagbø et al., 2003). "
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    • "The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin obtained principally from dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens were most strongly associated with reduced risk of AMD. Additionally, several prospective studies have reported that higher intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin were associated with decreased risk of cataracts [23]. After a 10-year follow-up, women consuming the most lutein and zeaxanthin had an 18 % lower risk of developing cataracts than those who consumed the least. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Lutein and zeaxanthin are macular pigments with a protective function in the retina. These xanthophylls must be obtained from the diet or added to foods or supplements via easy-to-use, stable formulations. The technique employed to produce these formulations may affect the bioavailability of the xanthophylls. Methods Forty-eight healthy volunteers were randomized into this double-blind, cross-over study investigating the plasma kinetics of lutein provided as two different beadlet formulations. Subjects (n = 48) received a single dose of 20 mg of lutein as either a starch-matrix (“SMB”, FloraGLO® Lutein 5 %) or as a cross-linked alginate-matrix beadlet (“AMB”, Lyc-O-Lutein 20 %) formulation. Plasma concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin were measured at 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 14, 24, 26, 28, 32, 36, 48, 72, 168, and 672 h. Results The mean plasma AUC(0–72h), AUC(0–672h), and Cmax for total lutein and zeaxanthin and their all-E-isomers were significantly increased (p < 0.001) from pre-dose concentrations in response to SMB and AMB. There was no difference in lutein Tmax between the two test articles. However, by 14 h post-dose, total plasma lutein increased by 7 % with AMB and by 126 % with SMB. Total lutein AUC(0–72h) and AUC(0–672h) were 1.8-fold and 1.3-fold higher, respectively, for SMB compared to AMB. Both formulations were well tolerated by subjects in this study. Conclusion These findings confirm that the bioavailability of lutein and zeaxanthin critically depends on the formulation used and document a superiority of the starch-based over the alginate-based product in this study.
    European Journal of Nutrition 09/2012; 52(4). DOI:10.1007/s00394-012-0447-9 · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    • "Given the importance of oxidative stress as a factor generating cataracts, different antioxidant mechanisms have evolved because of their capacity to counteract damaging effects of pro-oxidants. It is well known that depletion of antioxidants such as carotenoids and vitamin E by pro-oxidative agents is related to higher risk of cataracts, and that the risk is decreased with dietary supplementation of these antioxidants in humans (Jacques and Chylack, 1991; Christen et al., 2008). This has also been demonstrated in other mammals (Haque and Gilani, 2005), birds (Ferguson et al., 1956) and fish (Waagbø et al., 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: The crystalline lens of the eyes of vertebrates focuses light on the retina. Therefore, maintaining the lens clear is necessary for proper visual function. However, oxidative damage to proteins of the lens leads to opacification and lens dysfunction, termed cataract. Antioxidants thus have a role in avoiding the development of cataracts through their reduction of oxidative stress, and glutathione (GSH), a key intracellular antioxidant, belongs to the primary antioxidant defence mechanism of the lens. Other physiological mechanisms that require GSH may compete with the antioxidant mechanism of the eye. Pheomelanin is a main type of melanin, the most common pigment in vertebrates, and its synthesis consumes GSH. Here, we use data on 81 bird species to test the hypothesis that species producing large amounts of pheomelanin should have diminished capacity to use GSH to protect their eyes and, as a consequence, higher prevalence of cataracts. As predicted, the proportion of pheomelanic plumage was positively associated with the proportion of individuals with cataracts across species, suggesting that production of pheomelanin may have profound fitness consequences, as birds with cataracts have limited ability to perform vital activities. This constitutes the first comparative study of cataracts in wild animals.
    Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology 03/2012; 162(3):259-64. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2012.03.012 · 2.37 Impact Factor
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