Vitamin E and selenium disappoint
Monday, October 6 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Taking daily supplements of selenium or vitamin E appears to have no significant effect on the development of age-related cataracts in men, according to an American study.
Past research, particularly studies involving animals, suggests that nutrients can prevent the onset of cataracts or slow their progression. Vitamin E and selenium are of particular interest.
The researchers followed a total of 11,267 participants. Over a period of 5.6 years of treatment and follow-up, 389 cases of cataracts developed. There were 185 cases of cataracts in the selenium group and 204 in the group that didn’t take selenium, and there were 197 cases of cataracts in the vitamin E group and 192 in the group without vitamin E. Similar findings were seen in statistics on cataract surgery.
“These randomized trial data from a large cohort of apparently healthy men indicate that long-term daily supplemental use of vitamin E has no material impact on cataract incidence,” concluded the authors of the paper published in JAMA. “The data also exclude any large beneficial effect on cataract for long-term supplemental use of selenium, with or without vitamin E, although a smaller but potentially important beneficial effect could not be ruled out.”