Happy hour eyesight protection

Eye of the Beholder

It’s become a favorite joke at dinner parties: “Another glass? Sure. But only because it’s good for my heart.”

Yes, when the news of resveratrol’s heart-healthy benefits came out, the red wine started to flow a little more freely.

Well, watch out! Because new research is giving us even more excuses…eh, reasons…to pour another glass.

Looking good

Resveratrol’s heart-healthy benefits are due mostly to improved circulation. And that improvement may also help you avoid one of the most common sources of vision loss: age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

There are two varieties of age-related macular degeneration: dry and wet. You don’t want either, but you especially don’t want wet, which progresses faster and creates a much higher risk of vision loss.

In wet AMD, the retina is damaged by tiny blood vessels that develop behind it–a process called angiogenesis.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis wondered if resveratrol might inhibit angiogenesis. They began by using a laser to prompt microcapillary formation in the eyes of mice.

Then, when they fed the mice resveratrol, two things happened: Microcapillary formation was inhibited, and blood vessels that had already formed were diminished.

Of course, more research is needed before we can say resveratrol has the same effect on humans with AMD. Hopefully that will prove to be the case because angiogenesis also plays a role in diabetic retinopathy (another common cause of vision loss), heart disease, and cancer tumor growth.

With potential benefits like that, all I can say is: Pour me another glass!

And, if red wine doesn’t have you raising your glass, try blueberries and peanuts, two more excellent sources of resveratrol.

To Your Good Health,

Jenny Thompson

“Resveratrol Regulates Pathologic Angiogenesis by a Eukaryotic Elongation Factor-2 Kinase-Regulated Pathway” American Journal of Pathology, Vol. 177, No. 1, July 2010, ajm.amjpathol.org

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