A new study shows one fruit may stop you from going blind in old age. The results are in the early stages but they offer hopeful news in the face of a growing problem.
We’ve told you before how age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is becoming a major health issue. And we’ve given you one nutrient that can reduce your risk of blindness by 43 percent.
But now this new research shows that one vine fruit – with antioxidant properties – may also protect your eyes.
The study was led by Dr. Silvia Finnemann. She’s a top scientist at Fordham University in New York. And you can read about her results in Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
She says the fruit “was remarkable” for protecting eyesight. She also says this fruit can protect your vision in old age…even if you haven’t eaten it since you were a kid.
From the Vine to the Eye
The eye-protecting fruit is the grape. While the study was conducted on animals, these early results are still very hopeful. Adding grapes to your diet certainly won’t hurt you. And they may be able to protect your eyes in old age.
For her study, Dr. Finnemann used mice that were prone to developing retinal damage in old age. She compared three different diets on them to see which one offered the most eye protection.
The three diets were a grape-enriched diet, a normal diet, and a diet with lutein added to it. Lutein, as you may know, is a popular nutrient used in vision supplements. It has plenty of research to prove it works. And that’s where Dr. Finnemann had her breakthrough. Lutein worked pretty well…but grapes worked even better.
Prevents Blindness in 2 Ways
So how do grapes help your eyes? Actually, they do it in two ways. First, they decrease the build-up of lipofuscin. Those are “wear-and-tear” pigments linked to AMD.
Second, they prevent oxidative damage to the retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE). These cells support photoreceptors in the retina that help convert light to sight.
AMD is a result of oxidative damage over time. So it makes sense that grapes can help. That’s why Dr. Finnemann thinks a lifelong, natural antioxidant diet will benefit your vision.
That’s good news for the aging population. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in this group. So it’s smart to take protective measures, like eating grapes, to prevent AMD from developing.
You can get grapes in any grocery store. Most nutritional experts recommend red grapes for their high antioxidant value. You’ll also find red grapes have decent amounts of resveratrol, quercetin, and catechins.
We’ll continue to follow this research and let you know if there are any updates.
To your best health,
Managing Editor, NHD “Health Watch”