Drinking alcohol on a regular basis may decrease patients’ chances of developing cataracts that require surgery, Ophthalmology Times reports.
And wine consumption has the strongest protective effect against cataracts, due mostly to the abundance of antioxidants found in red wine, according to evidence from a study conducted by the NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre in the UK.
The study — the largest of its kind — was published in Ophthalmology, and tracked 490,000 volunteers in the UK.
Participants were enrolled in two difference study groups and answered a questionnaire about the amount and type of alcohol they consumed, along with as other details. Researchers considered factors known to affect cataracts, including sex, age, ethnicity, social deprivation, weight, diabetes, and smoking.
Participants who consumed approximately 6.5 glasses of wine per week were found to be less likely to undergo cataract surgery.
Wine drinkers benefited the most when compared to those who abstained from alcohol and those who drank other types of alcohol, with a 23 percent reduction in cataract surgery in one study group and a 14 percent reduction in the second group, according to an American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) news release.