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My father just recently had cataract surgery and thank Goodness it was a huge success. He says he can see as well as he did forty years ago. The question is, can we prevent cataracts by incorporating certain nutrients into our diet? There is strong evidence that says we can.

A major national eye institute study suggests that nutrients including vitamins C, E, and A, as well as bioflavonoids, play an important role in preserving our eyesight. As we age, our immune systems aren’t as strong, and often lose the battle against free radicals which can wreak havoc on our health. They’re especially dangerous when our vitamin C levels are low. Further studies show that long-term consumption of vitamin C may reduce, not just the risk of cataracts, but also vision loss from macular degeneration, which many seniors fall victim to.

Aside from supplements, vitamin C and bioflavonoids are easily found in many foods, including citrus fruits and lots of leafy green vegetables. In fact, almost any food containing vitamin C also contains bioflavonoids. Excellent sources of vitamin C also include tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, sweet red and green peppers (preferably organic), and orange juice.

How much vitamin C is effective in battling eye ailments? Studies found that a daily dose of 500 mg of vitamin C showed a reduced risk of cataracts. Vitamin C is water soluble, and is generally considered to be safe in higher doses; whatever your body doesn’t need will be excreted in urine. Bioflavonoids are also water soluble and non-toxic. That said, amounts of vitamin C over 2000 mg per day could increase the risk of kidney stones, and may cause diarrhea and nausea. Just keep an “eye” on how much C you’re taking and how you feel.