Adding to the growing evidence of the benefits of moderate wine consumption, a new study has revealed that grapes can significantly enhance eye health in older adults.
The research, which has far-reaching implications for the aging population, was recently published in a prestigious scientific journal. Functional foods and is the first company to test the impact of regular grape consumption on key markers of eye health.
As our society grapples with a growing number of elderly people at risk of eye diseases and vision loss, the findings of this study offer a glimmer of hope. Major risk factors for eye diseases include oxidative stress and high levels of ocular advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are associated with a variety of eye diseases.
AGEs are well known for their ability to damage the vascular components of the retina, disrupting cellular function and causing oxidative stress.
Including antioxidants in the diet—powerful protectors against oxidative stress and AGE formation found only in plants—with the potential to enhance retinal health, specifically by enhancing Bile macular pigment optical grade (MPOD).
MPOD is a measure of the density of the eye’s macular pigment in the center of the retina, which helps protect your eyes by absorbing harmful blue light. It acts like sunglasses on the inside of the eye, and the more concentrated the pigment, the more protection it provides.
Research shows that grapes, known for their rich content of antioxidants and other polyphenols, have emerged as a natural candidate in promoting eye health.
The results are also consistent with the principles of the Blue Zones Diet and highlight the potential health benefits associated with wine consumption, further emphasizing the value of moderation in enjoying these pleasures in life.
How grapes benefit eye health
The study recruited 34 human subjects, divided into two groups. One group consumed the equivalent of 1.5 cups of grapes daily, while the other group took a placebo over a 16-week period. The results are not surprising.
For those who follow the grape diet, the benefits are clear. They showed significant increases in MPOD, plasma antioxidant capacity and total phenolic content compared to those taking placebo.
On the other hand, those who abstain from grapes have seen a worrying increase in harmful AGEs, detected on their skin.
Jung Eun Kim, PhD, an influential figure in the world of eye health research, shared her excitement about the implications of this groundbreaking research.
“Our study is the first to show that grape consumption has a beneficial impact on eye health in humans, which is very exciting, especially in this population,” Kim said in a statement. aging is increasing.
With this revolutionary research, this humble grape has joined the ranks of dietary superstars, bringing new hope and promise to the elderly as well as the quest to preserve their precious eyesight. Surname.
“Grapes are an easy-to-eat, accessible fruit that studies have shown can have a beneficial impact with a normal amount of just 1.5 cups per day,” Kim adds.
What is the Blue Zone Diet?
The importance of this research extends to the broader context of the Blue Zones Diet — a dietary and lifestyle approach adopted by some of the healthiest and longest-living populations in the world. use.
The Blue Zone diet emphasizes the consumption of whole, plant-based foods rich in antioxidants, which is consistent with the findings of this study on grapes. This diet attributes the longevity and health of these communities to their dietary choices, which are low in processed foods and animal products, and high in fruits and vegetables. Vegetables.
Additionally, it is worth noting that grapes, especially in their fermented winemaking form, have become a recurring theme in the Blue Zones lifestyle. Some of these long-standing communities, such as the Mediterranean Blue Zone in Sardinia and the Blue Zone in Ikaria, Greece, are known for their moderate wine consumption.
Health benefits of wine
In particular, red wine consumption is associated with certain health benefits, including potential cardioprotective effects due to its polyphenol content, such as resveratrol. Although more research is needed, some studies show that red wine is good for heart health because it helps reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries.
A study summarizing current findings on the positive effects of wine consumption shows that not only healthy foods but also moderate wine consumption are linked to cancer prevention, It may be due to the antioxidants and polyphenols contained in fruits and their products. , such as wine and vegetables.
The review also notes that clinical studies show that cardiovascular disease may be affected by moderate wine consumption. According to these studies, it is possible to enhance the effects of resveratrol through a balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, which includes red wine, fish, fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods. fiber, vitamins, and minerals in the diet.
Additionally, epidemiological studies have shown that five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables and two glasses of wine a day can help you live longer and healthier. The beneficial effects of wine are mainly due to the antioxidant properties of the large number and amount of polyphenolic compounds present in red wine.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
In addition to eye health benefits, other studies suggest that plant-based diets, such as the Blue Zones or Mediterranean diet, are among the healthiest ways to eat. In fact, a study published earlier this year found that a plant-based diet may also have a positive impact on brain health.
The findings are published in the journal eLife, which focuses on the green Mediterranean diet. It is low in processed meat and rich in dietary polyphenols, which are naturally occurring compounds, commonly found in plant-based foods, that help protect the body from oxidative stress.
“Our study highlights the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including reducing consumption of processed foods, sweets and beverages in maintaining brain health,” said Gidon Levkov, PhD, who head of the study, said in a statement.
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