Vitamin E and Selenium Fail to Prevent Cataracts

vitamin e


Most health supplement organizations and some medical experts, have suggested vitamin E and selenium for eradicating the risk for cataracts. However, a latest study has established the fact that they are unlikely to offer benefit, despite this selenium is considered to be creating some impact.

Researchers randomly assigned 11,267 men over 50 to four groups of about 2,800 each. Members of one group took a daily placebo, those in the second took 400 IU of vitamin E daily, those in a third took 200 micrograms of selenium a day, and those in the fourth group took both vitamin E and selenium.

The five-year study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, found 389 confirmed cataracts: 98 in those who took vitamin E, 99 in those who took both supplements, 86 in those who took only selenium, and 106 in the placebo group. None of the differences was statistically significant, though selenium showed a trend that suggests it might have a slight benefit; additional research would be needed.


The outcome is similar to earlier trials of vitamin E, they show that for cataracts, however the effect is negligible. These are the first data on selenium alone, and we cant rule out a small however a crucial effect, said author, William G. Christen, an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.

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