MENU
ConsumerLab.com Answers

Question:
Do any supplements help prevent or improve cataracts?

Answer:
A number of supplements have been promoted to preventing or improving cataracts. These include multivitamins, vitamin A, C, and E: the B vitamins niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin; lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, carnosine, NACA, and St. John's wort. The evidence, however, is better for some than for others. Get the details in the full answer >>

See the Encyclopedia article on Cataracts for more information.

Also see these related CL Answers:

Do vitamin C supplements help prevent cataracts? >>


See other recent and popular questions >>
Comments
Add Comment

Stan15471   August 27, 2017
Especially with regard to age-related conditions such as cataracts, whether supplementing through pills or food or both, it's good to keep in mind that the body's absorption capabilities may very well be substantially reduced, while the needs may be increasing.

Wendy15470   August 27, 2017
Hello Wallace8556,
Would you please post the brand name of the pharmaceutical grade castor oil.
Thank you.

Tracey11656   February 8, 2017
I had confirmation by my eye dr that the cataracts I had were gone 3 years later after taking L-Glutamine (500 mg) and Alpha-Lipoic (600mg) daily for another health issue. I actually noticed an improvement within months in my vision. I stopped the Alpha-Lipoic due to thyroid issues to see what would happen (my TSH went up) and cataracts came back. I restarted the AL at the usual dose with no improvement and then increased the dosage to the current 300mg 2 x day. I haven't had my eyes rechecked but I no longer have "shadows" again. I wish they'd do more research on this but then they'd lose money on cataract surgeries!

Stephen15476   August 28, 2017
I have been taking Glutamine and Alpha-lipoic acid for decades. I will have cataract surgery in 21 days. One should not assume consecutivity equals causality. There may have been myriad other changes in your life and your body of which you took no notice, not that any change at all should be considered the cause. Sometimes the body does a better job at remission than others. 500 randomly chosen people having the same experiences would be meaningful but a handful of people who, rather than being randomly chosen, only have the experience in common is anecdotal.

Lydia11036   July 3, 2016
Did anyone got the Castor Oil brand name which helped Wallace8556 with his vision???

Robert11028   July 3, 2016
I am an 85 year old male with cataracts. About 4 years ago my cataracts were making reading difficult. I read about the Russian L-carnosine eye drops and decided to try a supplement with that in it. I chose Doctor's Best Zinc Carnosine Complex (zinc l-carnosine). Since starting the supplement my eyesight has greatly improved. I now see colors that I had not been seeing and my vision is significantly improved. An ophthalmologist remarked that my cataracts are very translucent. I have long had a zinc deficiency perhaps related to celiac disease.

I have no financial interest in Doctor's Best.

Wallace8556   March 27, 2016
I am an 84 year old male with 20-20 vision. In 2011 I went for testing at the eye clinic at the VA Medical Center in Washington DC in order to qualify for renewal of my driver's license. The results of the eye examination were that I was 20-30 in the left eye and 20-40 in the right eye, and then the eye doctor said "that's good enough for DMV and we'll give youthe papers so you can renew your driver's license. She then added that she saw "evidence of cataract formation" and requested I return for "more definitive" testing in about one month. She mentioned that we could discuss the "cataract surgery" at that time.
The mention of surgery caused me great concern, even though I have family members and friends who have been through that with little or no problems. But my concern led me to do some research over the next couple of days where I found that, although doctors will always tell you that surgery is the ONLY remedy for cataracts (a billion dollar per year industry!), there are a number of other natural methods for addressing cataracts.
I settled on one that seemed to be the least expensive. I started following a protocol of dropping 2 drops of pharmaceutical grade castor oil in each eye at bedtime each night.
Three weeks later I returned to the VA eye clinic for "more definitive" testing. The results announced were 20-20 vision in both eyes, and NO EVIDENCE of cataracts forming.
"What have you been doing differently?" I was asked. I told the doctor about my experiment with castor oil.
Immediately, she called in the Chief Ophthamalogist, who retested me thoroughly, only to get the same results. She looked at me, hands on her hips, and said: "Castor Oil, huh? Well, I don't think I could recommend that to any of my patients!"
I still drop the castor oil in each eye at bedtime every night. Do not use eye glasses for reading or driving, and have not felt any need for re-testing for cataracts since that time.
Castor Oil, huh? Someone said to me "sounds to good to be true!" But it is true, just as I've stated it here for you.

ConsumerLab.com   March 31, 2016
Hi Wallace - thank you for sharing your experience. We are not aware of any published research on castor oil for cataracts. Where did you learn about this?

Gloria8675   May 5, 2016
Thanks, Wallace, for sharing your experience of using pharmaceutical grade castor oil as eye drops to treat cataracts. And best to you! Please tell me the brand name of the pharmaceutical grade castor oil and where one can purchase it. Can you also tell the source of your information of using castor oil for cataracts. Thanks, Gloria.

claudia11029   July 3, 2016
please tell us where you got your castor oil so that others can try it. Thank you.!!!!

sanford11032   July 3, 2016
I am an ophthalmologist with many years experience, I am also a student and advocate of holistic healing. I seriously doubt that the castor oil drops had or have any effect on cataracts. I do believe that the drops improved his vision. Wallace probably has dry eyes. Dry eyes are a common cause of blurred vision. Usually we treat the condition with lubricating eye drops and omega 3 supplements. Wallace has been lubricating his corneas with castor oil. A bit unusual but apparently quite effective.

Tracey11655   February 8, 2017
Classic mainstream medical establishment answer. Totally ignores the fact that 2 ophthalmologists saw the patient with and without cataracts! And those same 2 Drs missed the fact that the patient had dry eye! Amazing.... I would suggest that sanford11032 opens their eyes (and mind) to the fact that they don't know everything and instead do a little research themselves.

ConsumerLab.com   February 9, 2017
Hi Tracey - It is quite likely that sanford11032 is correct. There are numerous studies showing the effectiveness of castor-oil based eye drops for treating dry eye, although none regarding its use for cataracts. Studies include:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12414410?dopt=Abstract

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17251808?dopt=Abstract

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149291815000090

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3585441/


Jules14043   May 19, 2017
Here's an article stating that high potency Serrapeptase reduces or eliminates early cataracts. https://www.tolwellnesscenter.com/blogs/news/15772765-high-potency-serrapeptase-helps-eliminate-cataracts-in-early-stages

ConsumerLab.com   May 19, 2017
Hi Jules - We are not aware of any clinical studies showing that serrapeptase reduces or eliminates early cataracts. For more about serrapeptase, see our posting at
https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/serrapeptase/.

Jules14045   May 19, 2017
That doesn't surprise me, since Serrapeptase is fairly new compared to more traditional supplements. Also I believe it's not widely known. But I've looked into it a lot on the Internet and there are quite a few anecdotal good reports. It seems to do no harm, so I use it.

ConsumerLab.com   May 25, 2017
Hi Jules - Just be sure to see the information about safety in the CL Answer about serrapeptase: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/_/serrapeptase/

mary15472   August 27, 2017
Perhaps Wallace was misdiagnosed by MV doctor.

bette11658   February 8, 2017
Hi Wallace,

Are you still keeping those cataracts away with the castor oil? Also, I have dry eyes and if the oil helps with that I would love to use it.

Please gives us all an update regarding your castor oil eye drops.
Thanks!

Helen8554   March 27, 2016
There were various studies and concerns about the long-term use of yogurt, particularly in low-fat versions that contain added milk powder. Galactose is a small molecule that can get into the lens. In fact, galactose cataracts have been experimentally induced in animals easily and have been studied extensively.

But it's unclear at what dose this appears in humans. Overall yogurt seems to have a beneficial effect, according to one 1993 study. But its metabolism may change among the elderly.

ConsumerLab.com   March 31, 2016
Thank you for sharing this information Helen. You are correct this has been shown in rats. There do not appear to be any studies in people other than the one you mention (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8336207).

Jacqueline6900   August 13, 2015
My ophthalmologist suggested fish oil supplements when I was seen for cataracts and reinforced the need to wear sunglasses. Have there been any studies conducted with subjects taking fish oil for cataracts? I had been taking Carlson's Norwegian Fish Oil prior to my visit for cataracts, and have seen an improvement in my osteoarthritis pain, but my cataracts have remained stable and I am wondering if the fish oil is actually having any effect on them.

ConsumerLab.com   August 16, 2015
Hi Jacqueline - Thank you for your question! We've now added some information about fish oil to the answer above.

Helen8555   March 27, 2016
If your cataracts are stable, this is a great sign!

sonja6899   August 13, 2015
Sunglasses!

This CL Answer initially posted on 8/12/2015. Last updated 8/2/2017.

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Edit Comment...

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment: