Nutritional Effect on Age-Related Cataract Formation and Progression

Ruti Sella; Natalie A. Afshari


Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2019;30(1):63-69. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose of review: To provide a comprehensive summary of the latest evidence-based data on nutrients linked to the pathogenesis of cataract formation and progression.

Recent findings: This summary of peer-reviewed publications emphasizes the ongoing effort to modulate the cataractogenous process through nutrition, and points at an only weak evidence for the contribution of a specific nutrient to this process. Although observational studies successfully demonstrated a positive correlation between specific nutrients intake and age-related cataract, such evidence was usually lacking in following interventional studies. Three metanalyses point towards a beneficial effect of high intake of vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A on the risk of age-related cataract. New studies point at a protective effect of a high intake of vitamin K1and vitamin D but negate the influence of Mediterranean diet or an overall high dairy consumption on the progression of cataract in a subgroup of patients. Sterols are candidate nutrients for future investigation.

Summary: Nutrition rich in fruits and vegetables, and a high dietary intake of vitamins A, C, D, E and K1 may be inversely associated with the risk of age-related cataract. More studies involving patients in a wide range of nutritional status are required to establish the long-term benefit of nutritional supplements.