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Drink red wine for healthy eyes

Published: 9:20PM Monday August 15, 2005 Source: One News

A new study has found consuming red wine in moderation can halve the risk of developing cataracts.
 
Drinking has long been associated with blurred vision, but new research shows moderate red wine drinkers are less at risk of developing cataracts than both teetotallers and those who imbibe heavily.

The five-year study was conducted in Iceland - not a place known for its good vintages.

Up to a third of people in Iceland over the age of 70 develop cataracts, a cloudy white film over the lens of the eye which if left untreated can lead to blindness.

The study claims as many as one or two glasses of wine a day, even a nip of brandy or whiskey helps provide protection for the eyes.

However beer increases the risk of developing cataracts.

But New Zealand Association of Optometrists spokeswoman Lesley Frederikson says other factors are important for good eye health.

"There is a link between smoking and developing cataracts, and you would want to eat well," says Frederikson.

The Icelandic study does not provide answers about why red wine may be good, but optometrists are hoping its findings will lead to more research.

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