B vitamins serve many purposes throughout the body, including functioning as cofactors in the enzymatic activation of antioxidants. Tanya Glaser, from the US National Eye Institute (Maryland, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 3000 150 men and women, ages 55 to 80 years, were involved in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group (AREDS), and followed for an average of 9.6 years. At the study’s start, B2 and B12 were inversely associated with lens opacity. Participants who had the highest dietary intake of B2 were at 22% lower risk of mild nuclear cataract and 38% lower risk of moderate nuclear cataract, as well as 20% lower risk of mild cortical cataract, as compared to people with the lowest B2 average intakes. Subject s with the highest average B12 intake displayed 22% lower risk of mild nuclear cataract and 38% lower risk of moderate nuclear cataract, and a 23% reduced risk of mild cortical cataract. The highest average B6 intake associated with a 33% decreased risk of moderate nuclear lens opacity, as compared to the lowest average intake. The study authors write: "These findings are consistent with earlier studies suggesting that dietary intake of B vitamins may affect the occurrence of age-related lens opacities.”
Glaser TS, Doss LE, Shih G, Nigam D, Sperduto RD, Ferris FL 3rd, Agrón E, Clemons TE, Chew EY; Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. “The Association of Dietary Lutein plus Zeaxanthin and B Vitamins with Cataracts in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study: AREDS Report No. 37.” Ophthalmology. 2015 Jul;122(7):1471-9.