Grapes May Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration

grapes have anti-oxidant effects on the eyesA new study in the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine compared the effects of lutein to grapes on the eyes. Grapes won out, providing more protection against oxidative damage to the retina than the nutrient lutein.

Mice were broken into two groups: on had a diet high in grapes, and the other received lutein, a plant chemical that recommended for eye health. The mice who ate grapes were less likely to go blind.

Grapes are rich in anti-oxidants, which fights free radical damage.

The study’s head author, Dr Silvia Finnemann from Fordham University, described the results as “remarkable” and wrote, “A lifelong diet enriched in natural antioxidants, such as those in grapes, appears to be directly beneficial for RPE (retinal pigment epithelium cells) and retinal health and function.”

Some diseases that result in damage to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) layer in the eye include Stargardt’s disease and age-related macular degeneration.

This study does not diminish lutein as an eye care supplement. A solid body of scientific research shows lutein’s benefits. Lutein also has antioxidant properties; grapes had  a stronger effect in mice in this single study. Lutein is found in the macula of healthy eyes, and research shows that taking 6 mg of lutein each day reduces the risk of macular degeneration by 48%. Learn more about lutein for eye care.