16.11.2018

Ophthalmologist tells us about cataracts and nutrition

Basically, most chronic diseases can be positively influenced by a disciplined change in diet. This means that symptoms and pain can be alleviated in many cases. To a certain extent, this also applies to the widespread age-related lens opacity, known in medicine as cataract. Almost every child knows that carrots are good for the eyes. "But also in green vegetables - spinach, broccoli, kale - are the important carotenoids, especially the oxygenated carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein, which can positively affect the eye health," emphasizes Benno Janßen, ophthalmologist for the Neuss region.

An expert on ophthalmology: spinach and broccoli help against cataracts

However, today's nutritionists know that destroying lutein and zeaxanthin by overcooking spinach, kale and broccoli. So be careful when preparing. Why are these carotenoids so important to the eye? "Because they bind harmful free radicals," says ophthalmologist Janßen. Light and oxygen meet in the eye. Our eyes are particularly sensitive to UV rays in sunlight. Free radicals like to make new connections and help ward off disease, but too many are suspected of not only causing circulatory and cancerous diseases, but also damaging the delicate sensory cells of the retina.

The risk of cataracts decreases by more than 40 percent thanks to lutein and zeaxanthin

Finnish scientists have found in a recent study that the oxygenated carotenoids can help very well to prevent the cataract. The nearly 1,700 subjects in the study were between 61 and 80 years old. Those with low lutein and zeaxanthin levels had a 42 to 41 percent higher risk of cataracts. A balanced diet with lots of fresh vegetables is certainly also healthy for a long and healthy sight until old age. In addition, it is known today that excessive alcohol consumption is more than harmful: a study by medical scientists at the Kings College School of Medicine, London, found that people who are known to consume alcohol are eight times more likely to be at risk develop cataract. As a result, they differed significantly from those in the peer group who consumed lower levels of alcohol.

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