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Eating vitamin C-rich foods help protect against cataracts

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LONDON — Eating vitamin C-rich foods, such as, oranges and kale could protect your sight in seniority, research suggests.

According to the study, led by King’s College London and published in the journal Ophthalmology, higher dietary intake of vitamin C has been found to have a potentially preventative effect on cataract progression in the first twin study of cataracts to examine to what degree genetic and environmental factors influence their progression with age.

Cataract is a common condition in which the lens of the eye gets to be cloudy as a result of oxidation over time. Whilst this is a natural part of ageing for many, for others it is more severe and causes blurred vision, glare and dazzle that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

The study took a at the progression of cataracts in the eyes of 324 pairs of female twins from the Twins UK registry over 10 years by examining photographs of the participant’s lenses that allowed them to analyse the level of opacity of the lens in detail.

Participant intake of vitamin C was also measured using a food questionnaire.

They found that those members who had a higher intake of vitamin C were linked with a 33 percent risk reduction of cataract progression and had ‘clearer’ lenses after the 10 years than those who had consumed less vitamin C as part of their diet.

The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust and Guide Dogs for the Blind, also found that environmental factors (including diet) influenced cataract more than genetic factors, which only explained a third of the change in lens opacity.

The fluid in the eye that bathes the lens is high in vitamin C, which helps to stop the lens from oxidising and protects it from becoming cloudy. It is thought that increased intake of vitamin C has a protective effect on cataract progression by increasing the vitamin C available in the eye fluid.

Lead researcher Professor Chris Hammond, from King’s College London, said: “The findings of this study could have significant impact, particularly for the ageing population globally by suggesting that simple dietary changes such as increased intake of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthier diet could help protect them from cataracts.

‘While we cannot avoid getting older, diabetes and smoking are also risk factors for this type of cataract, and so a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle generally should reduce the risk of needing a cataract operation.”

Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties may protect the eyes from cataracts, the scientists believe. Cataracts are caused by a build-up of oxidised proteins and fats.

Although vitamin C is commonly associated with oranges, kale and other dark green vegetables contain higher concentrations of the vitamin.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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