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Vitamins and Vision

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Also important, Heimowitz stresses, is blood sugar control for diabetics since uncontrolled blood sugar can result in cataracts.

"The eyes are susceptible to free radical damage and protecting them from ... damage with antioxidants as well as avoiding the overuse of sugar is a good way to help protect against cataract," agrees Michael Janson, author of Dr. Janson's New Vitamin Revolution and a doctor in private in Arlington, Mass.

One of the foremost researchers on nutrients and eye disease, Allen Taylor, PhD, says that the most consistent positive results have been seen with higher blood levels of vitamin C. When it comes to lowering cataract risk with antioxidants, "the jury is still out on almost all antioxidants except for C," he tells WebMD. Taylor is director of the laboratory for nutrition and vision research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Until more research can be done, "I tend to think that a prudent, good diet rich in fruits and vegetables and some kind of multivitamin would not a bad idea," Taylor adds.

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