Increased Animal Products in Diet Leads to Increased Cataract Risk

The Physicians Committee

Increased Animal Products in Diet Leads to Increased Cataract Risk

March 30, 2011

Eating animal products increases the risk of cataracts, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Based on findings from 27,670 participants in the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford) study, meat intake was positively associated with risk of cataracts. The participants were divided into six diet groups: highest meat consumption, mid-range meat consumption, least meat consumption, fish-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. Compared with those who ate the most meat, the risks for developing cataracts after adjusting for multiple confounders including age and smoking were as follows: mid-range meat consumption participants decreased their cataract risk by 4 percent, least meat consumption group by 15 percent, fish-eaters by 21 percent, vegetarians by 30 percent, and those who followed a vegan diet by 40 percent.

Appleby PN, Allen NK, Key TJ. Diet, vegetarianism, and cataract risk. Am J Clin Nutr. Published ahead of print March 23, 2011. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.004028.

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