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Can blackcurrants help my eyesight?

Scientists have discovered that dietary antioxidants play an important role in maintaining eye health and vision, particularly in preventing cataract.

Cataract is a common degenerative eye disease and is associated with getting older. It results from the build-up of oxidised proteins in the lens of the eye, which prevents light from entering.

Some antioxidants like vitamin C have been found to reduce the risk of cataract, but whether or not the other blackcurrant antioxidants offer similar protection is not yet known.

In a scientific study on humans, blackcurrant juice containing anthocyanins helped the volunteers' eyes to adjust to darkness better.

This reduced the feeling of 'tired eyes' whilst working at a computer screen (1). However, a similar study using bilberry anthocyanins did not reveal the same results (2).

References
  1. Nakaishi H. et al. (2000) Effects of black currant anthocyanoside intake on dark adaptation and VDT work-induced transient refractive alteration in healthy humans. Alternative Medicine Review 5: 553-562.
  2. Muth E.R. et al. (2000) The effedt of bilberry nutritional supplementation on night visual acuity and contrast sensitiveity . Alternative Medicine Review 5: 164-173.