Washington, May 2 : Vitamin E supplements may not actually benefit women suffering from cataract, says a new study.
The new analysis of the Women's Health Study (WHS) has revealed that women, who took Vitamin E supplements, had rates of cataract development comparable to women who did not take such supplements.
The team led by Dr. William G. Christen used data from the landmark WHS, including 39,876 professional women aged 45 or older
The participants took 600 IU of vitamin E (every other day) and 100 mg of aspirin (every day) in this 10-year, randomized, controlled study on cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention.
Each woman's cataract history was also recorded, along with health and lifestyle factors such as history of cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and use of multivitamins.
"Together, these results indicate that supplementation with vitamin E, alone or in combination with other antioxidant nutrients, for durations as long as 6.5 years has little impact on cataract occurrence in well-nourished patients," said Christen.
The results held for women who might have been expected to benefit most from antioxidant supplements: smokers and those with hypertension and/or diabetes
But, Christen said that since age-related cataract develops over many years as a result of cumulative damage to the eye's lens, longer timeframes might be necessary to see a benefit from antioxidant supplements.
The study appears in May 2008 issue of Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.