Can Cutting Back on Red Meat Keep Your Vision Sharper Longer?

By Staff Editor
Study shows vegetarians and vegans have lower risk of developing cataracts
In a large dietary survey that followed people for more than a decade, researchers found a clear link between red meat consumption and cataracts. Participants over age 65 who ate a vegetarian diet had the lowest risk, while those who ate the most red meat had the highest.( – SAN DIEGO, CALIF (February 5, 2015) – It’s just over a month into the New Year, when optimistic health and fitness resolutions can start to run out of steam. The results of a study by researchers at Oxford University in the U.K. may provide some timely inspiration to stick to new healthful habits: Eating more vegetables and less red meat could reduce the risk of developing age-related cataracts.
“It’s generally accepted that if you live long enough, you’ll develop a cataract,” said Sandy T. Feldman, MD, a San Diego-based physician considered one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists. “Special glasses can help in the early stages, but the only long-term solution is surgery. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed operation in the U.S.”
Cataracts-a gradual clouding of the lens of the eye that can significantly impair vision-are among the most common age-related problems. About 60% of people between ages 65-74 develop cataracts, as do about 90% of people over age 75. Currently, more than 20 million Americans are believed to have a cataract in at least one eye. This figure is projected to increase to 30 million as the baby boomer generation ages.
While the Oxford study is the first to track cataract development in relation to meat consumption, it does not prove that eating meat directly causes cataracts.
“A vegetarian diet may simply be part of a healthy lifestyle that contributes to lower risk of cataracts. There may be other factors at work, such as smoking, diabetes, and exposure to bright sunlight,” said Dr. Feldman.
The British researchers asked more than 27,600 people older than 40 to fill out dietary surveys over a six-year period, then monitored the participants’ medical records years later to see who developed cataracts. The 2011 study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that as red meat consumption as part of a daily diet decreased, so did the risk for cataracts:……..
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source: Health News Digest