Resveratrol, an antioxidant found in red wine and the skin of grapes, has been studied for its effects in extending longevity (at least in mice), and new research indicates that it may also help prevent and treat certain human eye diseases. Investigators at Washington University in St. Louis have reported that resveratrol stopped formation of damaging new blood vessels in the eyes (of mice), suggesting that it could be used to treat and prevent macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, both of which can cause vision loss. The investigators gave resveratrol to mice that developed abnormal blood vessels in the retina after laser treatment. They observed that the abnormal blood vessels began to disappear and that resveratrol apparently prevented development of new abnormal blood vessels. The investigators also found that the pathway through which resveratrol worked in their study differs from the one seen in longevity studies. If these findings hold up, resveratrol could help prevent and treat these diseases of the eye. The investigators suggested that the pathway identified might also be active in some types of cancers and cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol would have to be given in pill form – you couldn’t drink enough wine to equal the amount of resveratrol provided in the studies.
More on resveratrol and red wine.