We discovered that the cataract development in the Shumiya cataract rat (SCR) can be prevented by the administration of deep-sea drinking water (DDW). A standard diet based on the American Institute of Nutrition guidelines (AIN-76) and DDW containing a high mineral concentration such as low, medium and high Mg2+ content (50, 200 and 1000 mg of Mg2+/l, respectively) were used in this study. SCRs were freely fed with combinations of the standard diet and purified water or DDW during 5-15 weeks of age. The opacities of SCR lenses were documented by anterior eye segment analysis system EAS-1000. The onset of opacification of cataractous SCR lenses administered a combination of standard diet and purified water started at 11 weeks of age, and mature cataracts had formed at 13 weeks of age. However, the supplementation of Mg2+ by administration with medium DDW showed the greatest effect of delay of cataract onset in SCR. In addition, even cataractous SCR lenses at 14 weeks of age showed differences in opacity level. The opacification and Ca2+ of the lenses in cataractous SCR administered medium DDW were lower than those administered purified water. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that administration of DDW potently delays cataract development in SCR, and this may be caused by inhibiting the increase in Ca2+ levels in the lens.