Many a times, we are told that Vitamin C is highly beneficial for the health of our eyes. But do we exactly know what form of Vitamin C we must consume? Yeah, we’re kinda dicey on that part, aren’t we!
Just to be firm about what form of vitamin C must be preferred; supplemental or food based! We asked our eye specialist Dr. Kondrot to answer it for us and here’s what he has to say about it.
Relationship of Vitamin C and Cataracts
There was a study published in ophthalmology that definitely showed an inverse association with vitamin C and cataracts in older people. What do we mean by an inverse relationship? That means the more vitamin C you take, the lower your chances are of developing a cataract.
It gets even more interesting. That doesn’t mean you have to start to load up on oral vitamin C or start taking vitamin C pills. There was another study done in the Journal of Ophthalmology published in 2016. This study looked at over 1,000 pairs of British female twins and found that those who took high amounts of vitamin C in their diet – not capsules or pills – had a one-third lower risk of cataract over a 10-year period. That means that getting vitamin C via supplements did not appear to reduce the risk. It seems to be vitamin C in your food.
After going through this study, I kind of panicked because I don’t really like citrus fruits. I’m not a big fruit eater. My wife loves guava, oranges, and strawberries, all the foods that are high in vitamin C. I love my peppers and tomato sauce. I found that there’s actually more vitamin C in bell peppers than in oranges. I’ve got myself covered. I love Italian food with tomato sauce and bell peppers, and these are some of the foods that are high in vitamin C. It seems that you need your vitamin C in food, not supplemental vitamin C.
Many of you may have heard of national AREDS study that looked at vitamins in coincidence of macular degeneration. Coinciding with the study, they also looked at taking vitamin C and cataracts, and they did not find any relationship in the reduction of cataracts by taking oral vitamin C. It seems like taking vitamin C in our food is the key to reducing the incidence of cataracts.
This study also indicated that 65 percent of the cause of cataracts appears to be nutritional and 30 percent or so genetic. That means that if you have a strong family history of cataracts, you can kind of change the outcome by really focusing on your diet.
On being asked about his views on Vitamin C, Dr. Kondrot said, “I’ve always been a big advocate of always looking at good, healthy nutrition first. Colorful fruits and vegetables, foods that are high in vitamin C, organic, raw foods are the things you have to eat to keep your eyes healthy.” Strong studies indicate that this is the way to go in terms of reducing the incidence of cataracts.
Look at foods that have a high content of vitamin C. These are all your citrus fruits like strawberries, guava, and mangos. Interestingly, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, kale, and broccoli are also in that list of top 10 or so foods. Vitamin C in your food seems to be the key to reversing the incidence of cataracts.
Learn More about How Vitamin C is your cure
During a lot of my missionary work, it’s shocking to see the incidence of advanced cataracts in young individuals. Clearly, I think it’s related to nutritional deficiency. We need to look at foods that have a higher content of vitamin C.
For those of you who are interested learning more, Dr. Thomas Levy, who is an alternative cardiologist, wrote an excellent book on vitamin C. He feels very strongly that many diseases we’re faced with in our society are due to vitamin C deficiency. Those include cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease, and cataracts.
The human lens of the eye is composed of a lot of collagen, so it makes sense. When you have a total vitamin C deficiency called scurvy, you have a breakdown in the collagen. This is what happens, I believe, in the cataracts. Increasing the vitamin C levels in your body is one way to reduce the incidence of cataracts.