If you need more incentive to indulge in a glass of wine, here's more good news about the health benefits of resveratrol, a chemical compound found in grapes and some other foods. Studies suggest that resveratrol could not only fight obesity's health effects and slow the aging process (albeit only in animals like mice and fish so far), the chemical may also hinder the abnormal growth of blood vessels behind the retina--the prime cause of macular degeneration. This high-magnification image shows a retinal hemorrhage in a patient with macular degeneration.
After reading about resveratrol's beneficial effects in other parts of the body, Rajendra Apte, an ophthalmologist from Washington University at St. Louis, decided to probe its efficacy in the eye. The effects were rapid and pronounced in mice that suffered from runaway blood vessel growth. Shortly after they were given the resveratrol, their extra blood vessels began to vanish and no new ones formed. But before you go running for the nearest bottle of merlot, keep in mind that the mice received the resveratrol equivalent of several bottles of wine.