If you pop a multivitamin every day, you may be helping to prevent cataracts. According to an article in Ophthalmology, a multivitamin supplement may halt the development of cataracts in middle-aged men. A group of doctors analyzed results from the Physician’s Health Study (PHS II) to study the effects of multivitamins on cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
There were 11,497 physicians involved in the cataract study, and they were randomly assigned a multivitamin or a placebo. The doctors were monitored between 1997 and 2011 and completed surveys about pill-taking, risk factors, and any new cases of cataracts.
The research team discovered a 9-percent lower risk for cataracts among the multivitamin group compared to the placebo group. Older men seemed to benefit from the multivitamin more than the younger men.
The research team was pleased with the findings. Since cataracts are so common, even a 10-percent reduction is significant. Cataract surgery is the most common surgery that Medicare pays for, so reducing incidences of cataracts is a major victory.
There was a second phase of the study which analyzed the effect of multivitamins on age-related macular degeneration. The same multivitamins that provided protection against cataracts did not help prevent age-related macular degeneration. The vitamins did not do any harm, though.
The daily habit of taking a multivitamin is not going to cause any negative side effects, so taking it may help reduce the risk of cataracts. That is worth popping a pill, isn’t it? Talk to your doctor about what multivitamin is best for you to help prevent cataracts and promote good health (Source: Nutrition Action).