Antioxidant-Rich Diet Fights Cataracts

Earlier this year, I shared compelling information with you about polyunsaturated fats spurring the formation of cataracts, a common problem faced by the elderly. At the time, I also told you the amount of antioxidants -- specifically the lack of them -- also contributed greatly to cataracts.

Researchers have discovered an antioxidant-rich diet of fruits and vegetables may prevent the breakdown of a crucial mechanism, called the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, that clears damaged proteins away from eye lenses. When too many of these damaged proteins accumulate, cataracts can grow on the eye.

This ubiquitin-proteasome pathway helps balance a healthy concentration of proteins within cells. Ubiquitin is a protein that identifies damaged proteins ripe for removal and attaches itself to them. These "conjugated" proteins then latch onto proteasomes (protein-degrading enzymes) finish the job of clearing away vision-sapping debris.

Because free radicals attack ubiquitin and other healthy proteins in the eye, the antioxidants contained in vitamins C and E can play an important role in protecting that pathway.

A good source of vitamins C and E, as well as beta carotene: Kiwi fruit.

USDA Agricultural Research Service August 2, 2005

USDA Agricultural Research Service August 2005 Free Full Text Article

Click Here and be the first to comment on this article
Post your comment