Red wine ingredient prevents blinding
Washington: Resveratrol, an ingredient found in red wine, grapes, blueberries, peanuts and some plants, stops uncontrolled blood vessel growth in the eye, says a study led by an Indian-American.
"Resveratrol has been identified as an anti-aging compound. Given our interest in age-related eye diseases, we wanted to find out whether there was any link," said retina specialist Rajendra S Apte, senior study investigator.
Apte, formerly from Mumbai University and now with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, added: "There were reports on resveratrol`s effects on blood vessels in other parts of the body, but there was no evidence that it had any effect within the eye."
His discovery has implications for preserving vision in blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related mascular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness.
In diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels don`t develop beneath the retina. Rather, they grow into the retina itself.
Diabetic retinopathy causes vision loss in about 20 percent of the patients with diabetes. Almost 24 million people have diabetes in the US.
The formation of new blood vessels also plays a key role in certain cancers.
Conducting experiments in mouse retinas, the researchers found that resveratrol can inhibit formation of new blood vessels.
The investigators studied mice that develop abnormal blood vessels in the retina after laser treatment. Apte`s team found that when the mice were given resveratrol, the abnormal blood vessels began to disappear, said a university release.
These findings were published in the American Journal of Pathology.