Mailbag! How to Beat Cataracts Naturally

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Today, we are going to answer an interesting reader question about how to keep your eyes healthy.

Let’s get started…

Hey Natalie,

I just turned 75 this month and I’m starting to see my age — literally. I’ve noticed my vision is getting blurry and it’s getting harder to focus on things like fine print. I did some research and think it might be from cataracts. Do you know if there are any supplements that might help with this?


Bill K.

Thanks for the great question, Bill.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. The crystalline lens in your eye helps to collect and focus light on the retina. To perform this important function, the lens must remain clear. Oxidation and the clumping of certain proteins in the lens are major causes of clouding and cataracts.

While cataracts can develop at any age, they are more common in older folks and sometimes require surgery to correct.

Fortunately, there are a few natural alternatives that can help you win the battle against cataracts — lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E.

These powerful antioxidants can help to neutralize free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage your retinas.

In fact, a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology shows that folks who have a higher dietary or supplemental intake of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E have a significantly decreased risk of developing cataracts.

You can get all three of these nutrients by eating dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and eggs.

However, if you’re one of the many folks who don’t get enough of these types of foods every day, supplementing is your best bet. There is no recommended daily dose for lutein and zeaxanthin. The most recent research shows that taking 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin daily could have health benefits. Check with your healthcare provider to make sure they’re a good fit for you.

Do you have health questions? Write me:

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

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[1] Lutein & Zeaxanthin

[2] Facts About Cataract

[3] Dietary carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and risk of cataract in women: a prospective study.

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