Can eating grapes improve your vision?
Attention grape-lovers. Those little red, white and green berries not only pack a nutritional punch, they’re good for your eyesight too, says recent research.
Study leaders at the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, found that eating grapes can protect your retina from deterioration. The findings were recently presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference in Orlando, Florida.
To reach their conclusion, researchers fed laboratory mice a grape-rich diet or one of two control diets. The amount of grapes eaten by the mice was the equivalent of 3 servings-per-day for humans.
The analysis showed that retinal function among the grape eating mice was much better protected than those among the control group. The mice actually developed “thicker retinas,” researchers said.
“The grape-enriched diet provided substantial protection of retinal function which is very exciting,” said study leader Dr. Abigail Hackam, in a news release. “And it appears that grapes may work in multiple ways to promote eye health from signaling changes at the cellular level to directly countering oxidative stress.”
A key part of the complex structure of the eye, the retina contains photoreceptors, which control the eye’s response to light. The retina holds two types of photoreceptors known as rods and cones. Study leaders noted that retinal degenerative disease affects over 5 million people in the U.S., and can cause blindness due to photoreceptor cell death.
This isn’t the first time there’s been good news about grapes. Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, has been linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, reducing heart attack risk in women, prevent diabetes, and even preventing cavities; though some other studies question its benefits.
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