New Studies Suggest Lutein May Reduce the Risk of Developing Serious Cataracts

June 14, 2000

MADISON, N.J., June 13 /PRNewswire/ — When Mom said to eat your vegetables, she may not have known they can help maintain your eyesight. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health suggest that lutein, an antioxidant and member of the carotenoid family, may play a positive role in helping to reduce the risk of serious cataracts. In two recent studies conducted in more than 77,000 women and more than 36,000 men, researchers found that people who ate more foods that contained lutein had a significantly lower risk of developing cataracts severe enough to require cataract extraction.

“These new studies emphasize the need to include lutein in the diet to support eye health,” said David Heber, MD, Ph.D., Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. “Our diets don’t always include enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, a recent study showed that Americans only consume about one milligram or less of lutein each day.”

Sugar Ray Leonard, Olympic gold medallist and winner of five boxing titles, joins Centrum in promoting a healthy diet for Vision Research Month for a very personal reason: his father suffers from cataracts. “Watching my father’s eyesight diminish has been really difficult,” said Sugar Ray Leonard. “We need to do everything that we can to protect our eyes. Americans can help to achieve this important goal by eating lutein-rich fruits and vegetables and taking a lutein-containing multivitamin.”