Red wine can help prevent cataracts

Red wine can help prevent cataracts

Wed, April 21, 2021

In what can only be heralded as good news for wine drinkers around the world, new research from the United Kingdom has found that the moderate consumption of red wine may help to prevent cataracts.

Unfortunately, other forms of alcohol – white wine, beer or spirits – lack the antioxidants found in red wine, making them ineffective in keeping cataracts at bay. It’s the abundance of polyphenol antioxidants in a shiraz, merlot or your other favourite red that researchers have found can play a protective role against the gradual onset of cataracts. 

A cataract is a cloudiness of your natural lens as part of the natural process of ageing. Often people don’t notice cataracts at first, but over time they experience slight blurring in their vision and sometimes a dropout in the colour blue, which affects how they judge other colours. At Medownick Laser Eye Clinic, we often compare your eye vision with cataracts to a window that is fogged with steam.

The new research, conducted by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, is the largest of its kind to study the association between the need for cataract surgery and alcohol consumption. It tracked close to half a million volunteers to understand how their health, lifestyle and other factors can contribute to health issues such as cataracts.

But drinking red wine only benefits those whose consumption of alcohol is within a moderate range and within the government guidelines, the study found. Those who drink daily or almost every day, for example, have about a 6 percent higher risk of needing cataract surgery.

The authors of the study explained: “We observed a dose-response with our findings – in other words, there was evidence for reducing the chance of requiring future cataract surgery with progressively higher alcohol intake, but only up to moderate levels within current guidelines. This does support a direct role of alcohol in the development of cataract, but further studies are needed to investigate this.”

Many of us have long believed in the benefits of a glass of red wine as part of a healthy diet. This new research highlights the potential role red wine can play in protecting us against cataracts. We can only say cheers to that!

At Medownick Laser Eye Clinic, we have performed thousands of cataract surgeries, providing our patients with the freedom to see clearly once more using a procedure we refer to as Low Stress Cataract™ Surgery.  To discuss how we can improve your vision with Low Stress Cataract ™ Surgery, call us at Medownick Laser Eye Clinic on 1800 37 39 37, or email us to organise your free, no-obligation assessment today.

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