Today’s Headlines: The Foods That May Help Reduce Cataract Risk, What Might Be Causing Your Road Rage, and How Stress Can Affect Your Heart

Eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts later in life. Researchers found that diet, rather than genetics, may be the stronger link in the progression of cataracts. “[Researchers] found that those who had reported consuming more vitamin C in their diet — at least twice the recommended dietary allowance of 75 milligrams a day for women (the R.D.A. for adult men is 90 milligrams) — had a 33 percent lower risk of their cataracts progressing than those who get less vitamin C. The researchers concluded that genetic factors account for about 35 percent of the difference in cataract progression, while environmental factors like diet account for 65 percent.” While the study was only done on female twins, the outcome seemed to be significant. Researchers also noted that vitamin C supplements were not as effective as actual foods containing vitamins. (NYT)

Stress could be giving you heart problems. A new study found that the more stressed out you are, the more inflamed your arteries may be. “They found that stress activity in an area of the brain called the amygdala, which is where emotions are processed, was linked to more inflammation in a person’s arteries… The researchers found that 35% of the people with high brain stress suffered a heart event over the nearly five-year study period. Only 5% of people with low brain stress experienced an adverse heart problem.” The study was small and needs more research, but offers a new perspective on stress and the heart. (Time)

If you own a cat, your chances for road rage may be higher. Researchers have found that a parasite in cats may also be the reason for road rage. “The study, published…in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, drew a link between toxoplasmosis, and intermittent explosive disorder (IED) and increased aggression. Toxoplasmosis is transmitted through the feces of infected cats, undercooked meat or contaminated water. An estimated 30 percent of all humans carry the parasitic infection.” The exact science of how toxoplasmosis may affect the human brain and human emotions is not yet clear. (Fox)