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March 14, 1980

Another use for vitamin E?

JAMA. 1980;243(10):1025. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300360009004

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Vitamin E may prevent cortical cataracts in diabetic patients, suggest Canadian researchers.

John Trevithick, PhD, and co-workers at the University of Western Ontario, London, hypothesize that the antioxidant may be able to reduce precataractous formation of globules resulting from increased blood glucose levels. It may also render membranes of the cortex of the lens more flexible.

The research began three years ago when rat lenses were placed in test tubes with a high glucose solution to stimulate diabetic conditions. Vitamin E appeared to reduce cataract formation in the lenses. Last year, these studies were continued in live rats in whom diabetes was chemically induced. If such animals are untreated, cataracts always develop. But in those administered vitamin E in amounts 35 times greater than in their normal diet, cataracts so far have not appeared. The vitamin has been given by injection, but efforts are under way to administer it through