Cataracts, Sugar and N-Acetyl Carnosine

I know that most people think cataracts are just a normal part of aging and can only be corrected by surgery, but this is another myth that should be dispelled. In fact, studies have long correlated excessive intake of sugar and other carbohydrates with cataracts, especially when these happen early in life. For more detailed information on this, I suggest you go to and also consider reading her book “Lick the Sugar Habit.”

A recent study analyzed data collected in connection with the Nurses’ Health Study and also concluded that there is a direct correlation between the development of cataracts and the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. Interestingly, this study did not find that sugar was any worse or better than other carbohydrates and the only correlation was with total carbohydrate consumption – another good reason to consider limiting carbs in a sensible way! (1)

The other part of the myth is that you have cataracts there is nothing you can do other than surgery. In reality, a growing number of studies performed over more than a decade in different parts of the world and independently of one another have all reached the same conclusion: that an eye drop solution containing the natural antioxidant N-acetyl-carnosine (NAC) can prevent and even reverse existing cataracts. Many of these studies are large double-blind and placebo-controlled studies but, given that NAC is a natural over-the-counter supplement and not a patented drug, we continue to be told that surgery is the only option!

Studies on NAC and cataracts:

Drugs R D. 2004; 5 (3): 125-39

Drugs R D. 2002; 3 (2): 87-103

Peptides. 2001 Jun; 22 (6): 979-94

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2000 May; 65(5): 588-98

Mol Aspects Med. 1992; 13 (5): 379-444

Clin Chim Acta. 1996 Oct 15; 254 (1): 1-21

Biochem Int. 1990; 20 (6): 1097-103

And more:

(1) “Carbohydrate intake and glycemic index in relation to the odds of early cortical and nuclear lens opacities” by Chung-Jung Chiu, Martha S Morris, Gail Rogers, Paul F Jacques, Leo T Chylack, Jr, William Tung, Susan E Hankinson, Walter C Willett and Allen Taylor from the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA (C-JC, MSM, GR, PFJ, and AT); the Center for Ophthalmic Research (LTC and WT) and The Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine (SHE and WCW), Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA; and the Departments of Epidemiology (SHE and WCW) and Nutrition (WCW), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

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