Eating grapes seem to slow or help prevent the onset of
age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition affecting
millions of elderly people worldwide.
AMD is a progressive eye condition, leading to the deterioration
of the centre of the retina, called the macula, a leading cause of
blindness in the elderly.
A new study suggests that antioxidant actions of grapes stave off
these harmful effects, the journal Free Radical Biology and
"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," said principal investigator Silvia
Finnemann of biological sciences, Fordham University, New York.
Grapes protected the retina and prevented blindness among mice.
While lutein added to the diet was also effective, grapes offered
significantly more protection, according to a Fordham statement.
Finnemann noted that results suggest that age-related vision loss
is a result of cumulative, oxidative damage over time. Aging of
the retina is tied with increased levels of oxidative damage, and
oxidative stress is thought to play a pivotal role in the
development of AMD.