A new study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine shows how grapes can be utilized as a powerful tool in halting or slowing blindness brought on by age. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive eye condition which leads to a suffering retina. The condition affects millions of elderly individuals worldwide, but knowing this information can put a stop to the increasing statistics and even make it so that no eye-sight ‘promoting’ pharmaceuticals are needed.
Grapes and Antioxidants Provide Powerful Vision-Promoting Properties
The study examined the effects 3 different diets had on aging mice: a diet rich in grapes, a diet with added lutein, and a normal diet. Mice are prone to developing retinal damage in old age very similar to how humans do, so the impacts of antioxidant-rich diets should have a very similar impact on humans.
What the researchers found was that the diet containing grapes provided significant protection by shielding against oxidative damage of the retina and also prevented blindness. A diet containing lutein was also effective, but not quite as effective as a grape-rich diet. A ‘normal’ diet was conclusively the least positively impacting. These results indicate that age-related vision loss is the outcome of cumulative oxidative damage over many years.
“The protective effect of the grapes in this study was remarkable, offering a benefit for vision at old age even if grapes were consumed only at young age,” states principal investigator Silvia Finnemann, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University in New York.
Of course those already entrenched in a healthy lifestyle probably don’t need to worry about AMD. Consuming a diet rich in dark leafy greens, egg yolks, yellow peppers, pumpkin, blueberries, carrots, or any other food with antioxidants is a sure way to avoid degeneration of all kinds – and that includes that of the eyes. As with any food, it is best to buy organic as they are of the utmost quality. Grapes in particular should definitely be bought organic due to high risk of contamination. Vineyards can be sprayed with different pesticides during different growth periods of the grape, and no amount of washing or peeling will eliminate contamination because of the grape’s thin skin.
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