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Study does not show any benefit of vitamin E and selenium supplements in preventing cataract in elderly men

Posted:  Monday, September 29, 2014

Popping vitamin E and selenium supplements was thought to be beneficial in the prevention and progression of age-related cataract. However, the findings from a latest study raise doubts about this long held belief. The study has reported no significant benefit of daily vitamin E and/or selenium supplementation on cataract development in elderly men.

Published in JAMA Ophthalmology, the findings are from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) Eye Endpoints (SEE) Study. The SEE study was an ancillary study of the SELECT and is a randomised placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of vitamin E and selenium supplementation in men aged ≥50 years with prostate cancer. From the SELECT, a subset of 11,267 participants were included in the SEE study. As part of the SELECT study participants had to provide data regarding cataract diagnosis or removal during the trial period.

According to the finding from the SEE study, on average 5.6 years of treatment and follow-up, in the selenium supplemented group, cataract development was found in 185 cases, whereas those who didn’t take selenium reported 204 cases.

Furthermore, the vitamin E supplemented group reported 197 cases of cataract whereas, the number of cases was 192 among those who were not supplemented with vitamin E. Similar results were reported among the cataract removal group.

Commenting about the study findings, researchers said, "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. 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.”

Numerous animal and human studies establish a link between dietary nutrients and their effect on the progression and development of cataract. Vitamin E and selenium due to their antioxidant potential, feature prominently in these researches. Although the present study has not found any strong beneficial link, further studies in this area need to be conducted to corroborate these results.

For study details:-Click Here!