1. Do Vitamin C supplements help prevent cataracts?
Emily, West Springfield
Most studies, but not all, suggest that Vitamin C from supplements helps prevent cataracts if taken for at least 10 years. One study of older women in Boston who took Vitamin C showed approximately 80% lower prevalence of cataracts compared to women who did not use Vitamin C supplements.
A second study showed a 45% decrease in cataracts with Vitamin C. However, no benefit was seen among those who consumed Vitamin C supplements for less than 10 years.
You only need about 150 to 250 mg of Vitamin C per day to saturated the eye. In fact, higher doses may be a problem. A study of women in Sweden taking approximately 1,000 mg of Vitamin C daily for 10 years found a 45% increase in cataract removals compared to those who did not take Vitamin C.
So the bottom line is that appears that Vitamin C supplements may reduce the risk of developing cataracts if taken for more than 10 years but at a moderate dose.
2. Does Vitamin D help cholesterol?
Getting adequate intake of Vitamin D may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce body fat. In a new study, overweight women were given Vitamin D for 12 weeks. Researchers saw a 7 percent increase in HDL "good" cholesterol and a 6 pound decrease in body fat.
However, total body weight did not change and there was a small increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol, although LDL appeared to be less plaque-forming in nature.
Before you take Vitamin D, ask your doctor to check your level to see if it is low and you need to take Vitamin D. If you already have good Vitamin D in your blood, more is not better.