Results of a new Washington University study suggest that older individuals may be able to help prevent certain eye diseases by consuming moderate amounts of red wine.
Lead investigator Rajendra Apte and her colleagues found that resveratrol—a compound commonly found in red wine, grapes, blueberries and peanuts—is capable of inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels, a condition known as angiogenesis.
Individuals who suffer from extensive blood vessel growth often develop blinding eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Earlier studies have also found that angiogenesis may contribute to the development of certain cancers and atherosclerosis—the hardening of the arteries.
In the animal study, resveratrol successfully prevented the growth of new blood vessels in the eyes and even eradicated abnormal vessels that had already developed.
"We have identified a novel pathway that could become a new target for therapies," Apte said. "And we believe the pathway may be involved both in age-related eye disease and in other diseases where angiogenesis plays a destructive role."
The highest levels of resveratrol are found in red wine and grape skin. For more information about resveratrol, click here.