Is Red Wine Good For Your Eyesight?

If you’re hoping the answer is a “yes!” you’re in luck—studies have shown drinking red wine in moderation has helped prevent a few eye diseases:

A Glass a Day Keeps the Cataracts Away

Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants, including beverages like red wine, may prevent cataract development.1 In particular, polyphenol antioxidants, found in abundance in red wine, are thought to protect the eyes from the gradual damage done by oxidative stress during aging.1

A new study from Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University College London found that people who consumed low to moderate amounts of red wine were less likely to need cataract surgery than those who didn’t. In this study, moderate drinking was defined as “about 6.5 glasses of wine a week”—or a little less than one drink per day.1

If you think more is better, you would be wrong in this case: the study found that drinking more than the suggested amount equated to approximately a six percent higher risk for cataract surgery.1

Red Wine Helps Prevent AMD Too

It’s not just cataracts red wine helps prevent: studies have found that drinking red wine in moderation is also linked with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Resveratrol, which is found in the skin of red grapes, is thought to help protect moderate drinkers from AMD.2

Remember: Everything in Moderation

As noted in some of the studies above, the key to these health benefits is moderation. It’s important to remember that regular excessive alcohol consumption is linked to serious chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The CDC defines moderate drinking as “limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women.”3

If you feel that you or a loved one may have a drinking problem, consult your personal health care provider or reach out to the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service, available at 1-800-662-HELP.