The Association between Dietary Intake of Antioxidants and Ocular Disease

Diseases. 2017 Jan 30;5(1):3. doi: 10.3390/diseases5010003.


To assess the association between dietary antioxidant intake and the incidence of the three major oxidative stress-related eye diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, 78 cases from the University of Auckland Optometry and Vision Science clinic and 149 controls were recruited. Participants completed an antioxidant food-frequency questionnaire, analysed through multiple logistic regression. Protective associations were identified with higher consumption of fruit and vegetables (OR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.00; p = 0.004), vitamin C (OR = 0.63; 95% CI: 0.23, 1.03; p = 0.022), and β-carotene (OR = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.15, 0.98; p = 0.007). Meanwhile, harmful associations were observed with greater consumption of meat/nuts (OR = 1.03; 95% CI: 1.01, 1.05; p = 0.006) and cholesterol (OR = 1.09; 95% CI: 1.50, 2.46; p = 0.005). Diets rich in fruit and vegetables appear to be protective against cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, while diets higher in meat and nuts may increase the risk of oxidative stress-related eye diseases. In addition, higher intakes of vitamin C and β-carotene from food, with reduction of dietary cholesterol intake, may be beneficial towards the outcome of oxidative stress-related eye diseases.

Keywords: diet; nutrition; ocular pathology; oxidants.