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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Monday, 28 June 2010 10:58

Drinking Wine for Your Eyes only

Proponents of wine should have another reason to say cheers with a glass of red wine because a current research suggests that resveratrol, the naturally occurring compound in red wine, inhibits pathogenic new blood vessel growth which prevents certain eye diseases, particularly in older people.

Resveratrol is a natural compound that is produced in a variety of plants to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. It is found in particularly high levels in grape skin and consequently in red wine and at lower levels in blueberries, peanuts, and other plants. Various studies have already shown that resveratrol can be anti-aging and act as an anti-cancer agent through the function of specific proteins, known as sirtuin family proteins.

Angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation, plays a central role in various cancers, atherosclerosis, and eye diseases. To investigate the effects of resveratrol on angiogenesis, a research group led by the ophthalmologist .

Dr. Rajendra Apte of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri (he is an alumnus of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, Nashik and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Bombay, India) assessed the consequences of resveratrol treatment on pathogenic blood vessel growth in the eye.

They found that resveratrol inhibited angiogenesis via a novel, sirtuin-independent pathway. Moreover, they could reverse this angiogenesis-blocking effect with specific inhibitors. The report entitled "Resveratrol regulates pathologic angiogenesis by a eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase regulated pathway," appears in the July 2010 issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

Dr. Apte says the study was able to "demonstrate that resveratrol, a naturally occurring compound, can directly inhibit the development of abnormal blood vessels both within and outside the eye". This could lead to new treatments, according to him.


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