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Nutrition Roundup

January 20, 2012

Eating grapes protects against macular degeneration in mice.



Vision saving grapes. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in elderly people. It’s caused by oxidative damage to the retina. In the journal  Free Radical Biology and Medicine, researchers at Fordham University report that a diet rich in grapes slowed the progression of a similar condition in mice. Grapes are rich in antioxidants that protect against oxidative damage. Future studies will look to see if they are effective in people as well.

In other dietary news, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report in the Journal of Nutrition that high fiber, whole grain carbohydrates can improve health by reducing inflammation. In just four weeks, overweight and obese patients in the study reduced levels of a key biomarker for inflammation by 22%. Inflammation is a major risk factor in heart disease and some cancers.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.