What is the Evidence for Free Radical Effect on AMD and Cataracts?

January 24, 2011

A recent review in Opthalmic Research discusses the epidemiological evidence for the effect of free radicals on the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Interest in this area stems from the “free radical theory” of aging, which purports that age-related diseases are due to the accumulated degenerative effects of free radicals over a lifetime.

Epidemiological evidence is strong that smoking, which introduces high levels of free radicals into the body, is a risk factor for both AMD and cataracts. There is only moderate evidence for the effect of sunlight on cataracts, and even weaker evidence for its effect on AMD.  The evidence for an association of AMD and cataracts with antioxidant levels (vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zinc) in the retina and lens of the eye is mixed.

For an abstract of the study, click here.

Risa Schulman, PhD
Expert, Healthy Food and Dietary Supplement Science, Marketing and Regulatory




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