Resveratrol May Protect Eye Sight

A recent study published in the American Journal of Pathology has found that the compound found in red wine known as resveratrol can stop out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye. It’s a finding researchers say could have implications for preserving vision in some common blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Conducting experiments in mouse retinas, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that resveratrol can inhibit angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. When the mice were given resveratrol, they found that the abnormal blood vessels in their eyes began to disappear.

Researchers say because resveratrol is given orally, patients may prefer it to many current treatments for retinal disease, which involve eye injections. The compound also is easily absorbed in the body.

“This could potentially be a preventive therapy in high-risk patients,” said the study’s lead investigator, Rajendra Apte, M.D., Ph.D.

Resveratrol is one of the active, non-alcholic ingredients in red wine. It comes from the pulp of grapes used to make wine and has some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in nature.

Among its believed health benefits are increasing heart health, fighting cancer and delaying the aging process.

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