For the more than 20 million Americans older than 40 who are at risk for impaired eyesight due to cataracts, vitamin E supplements may provide valuable protection. Researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that women who reported taking vitamin E supplements for ten years or more showed the least impairment (Archives of Ophthalmology, 2005, vol. 123, no. 4).

Paul Jacques, ScD, lead author of the study, notes that long-term vitamin E supplement users delay cataract progression by about five months on average. "The fact that the women who took the supplements the longest had the least development of cataracts over time suggests that starting to take vitamin E at younger ages might provide the most potential benefit," says Jacques.