Vitamin E and risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis

Public Health Nutr. 2015 Oct;18(15):2804-14. doi: 10.1017/S1368980014003115. Epub 2015 Jan 16.


Objective: We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between vitamin E and age-related cataract (ARC).

Design: The fixed- or random-effect model was selected based on heterogeneity. Meta-regression was used to explore potential sources of between-study heterogeneity. Publication bias was evaluated using Begg's test. The dose-response relationship was assessed by a restricted cubic spline model.

Setting: Relevant studies were identified by a search of PubMed and the Cochrane Library to May 2014, without language restrictions.

Subjects: Studies involved samples of people of all ages.

Results: Dietary vitamin E intake, dietary and supplemental vitamin E intake, and high serum tocopherol levels were significantly associated with decreased risk of ARC, the pooled relative risk was 0·73 (95% CI 0·58, 0·92), 0·86 (95% CI 0·75, 0·99) and 0·77 (95% CI 0·66, 0·91), respectively. Supplemental vitamin E intake was non-significantly associated with ARC risk (relative risk=0·92; 95% CI 0·78, 1·07). The findings from dose-response analysis showed evidence of a non-linear association between dietary vitamin E intake and ARC. The risk of ARC decreased with dietary vitamin E intake from 7 mg/d (relative risk=0·94; 95% CI 0·90, 0·97).

Conclusions: The findings of the meta-analysis indicated that dietary vitamin E intake, dietary and supplemental vitamin E intake, and high level of serum tocopherol might be significantly associated with reduced ARC risk.

Keywords: Age-related cataract; Meta-analysis; Serum tocopherol; Vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cataract / blood
  • Cataract / prevention & control*
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Tocopherols / blood
  • Vitamin E / blood
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Tocopherols