I’m sick of looking at this screen and my eyes are sore and I’m just not taking anything in.
That ever been you?
To be honest it’s been most of us at some point. What do we usually do about it? Well some of us battle on until the end of the day and then reward our efforts with something like…. I don’t know… perhaps a glass of red wine! We do this with the smug knowledge that a glass of red wine is good for us because well, everyone knows that!
It used to be the resveratrol found in grape skins that was thought to provide the core of red wine benefits. However scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine put a dampener on that when their study found no apparent benefit and no link between resveratrol levels and the rates of heart disease, cancer, and death 1.. Drats!
Antioxidants are good for you right? It’s the antioxidant anthocyanins that give red wine its colour and research has shown that anthocyanins readily cross the blood–retinal as well as the blood-brain barrier 2.. In other words there is plenty of potential for them to directly contribute to eye and brain performance and some studies that point towards them doing just that 3. 4.. We might be onto something there!
But before you supersize your wine glass in an effort to supercharge your eye and brain function, there has been other less encouraging research performed by scientists at the University of Granada in Spain. They determined that intoxicated participants of their studies experienced significant deterioration in their vision, with more perception of halos and other night-time visual problems. One possible reason for this is that the ethanol in alcoholic beverages disturbs the lipid layer of the eye's tear film, which can increase its evaporation, thus impacting your vision 5.. Not perhaps the results we were after but all in all it sounded like a fun sort of study to have been involved with!
What about cognitive function? Are you cleverer when you drink red wine? I guess that depends on whether you ask the drinker or the listener.
Do not despair however, a recent Czech study provides convincing evidence that, for whatever reason, a glass of wine a day can make you live longer 6., and there are other ways to get access to the eye and brain health benefits delivered by those colourful anthocyanins.
A typical glass of red wine will have approximately 30mg of anthocyanins in it, an amount which varies from wine to wine and decreases with the age of the wine. A cup full of an anthocyanin-packed fruit such as blackcurrants can deliver you many times that dosage, but it’s just not the same at the end of a hard day!
Here’s a brain and eye sharpening compromise for you. Why not include a blackcurrant-based dietary supplement such as Blackcurrant Skin Extract into your daily routine. Each capsule delivers the equivalent amount of anthocyanins as one-half bottle of red wine. So have those Blackcurrant Skin Extract capsules for sharpness of mind and eye and have your glass of red wine as well, because everyone knows a glass of red wine a day is good for you!
By Glenn Hughes