In conflict with a previous report, we find that phenolic inhibitors of lipid peroxidation (butylated hydroxytoluene [BHT] and butylated hydroxyanisole [BHA]) do not have significant inhibitory effect on galactosemic cataract formation. This is consistent with the lack of enhancement of stable products of lipid peroxidation (measured by the thiobarbituric acid assay) in the lenses of galactosemic rats. This does not imply that oxidative stress plays no role in galactosemic cataract formation (indeed, we find that galactosemic lens homogenates contain increased amounts of an Fe2+ oxidant, possibly a peroxide), but rather that BHT- and BHA-inhibitable lipid peroxidation specifically has no role to play. In instances where drugs appear to inhibit galactosemic cataract formation, other effects caused by the drugs, e.g., inhibition of feeding or induction of general detoxification pathways, must be considered.

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