As I drank a glass of Italian red with the pizza I baked on Friday night, I’ll admit I wasn’t thinking about the health benefits of the wine’s resveratrol. Sure, I know that resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that is good for the heart, but at the end of a busy week (with an earthquake and the G20 in town), I was just enjoying a relaxing moment and a great combination of flavours.
As it turns out, I may also have been helping my eyes. New research shows that resveratrol may help prevent some common blinding conditions, such as the retinopathy caused by diabetes, according to researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. In mice studies, the resveratrol’also found in grapes and blueberries’inhibited the growth of new blood vessels, called angiogenesis, which play a role in certain eye cancers and other eye conditions, as well as eliminating abnormal blood vessels that were already present. The results may provide new options for treatments. The study is published in the July issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
For more about resveratrol and other ‘nutraceuticals’ (foods that have health benefits), see “Foods that heal: Can nutraceuticals cure common illnesses? ” Also see ‘Dynamic Duos’ in the Summer 2010 issue of Best Health (on newsstands now), which talks about combining healthy foods to get even more nutrition. In one example, Italian researchers found that women who consumed as little as a glass of wine a day’white or red’had higher levels of the omega-3 fats that are found in many fish.