Could a Few Glasses of Wine Per Week Help Ward Off Cataracts?
The study was published March 31 in the journal Ophthalmology.
The researchers noted that their findings don’t prove cause and effect; it only shows a strong association between alcohol consumption and cataracts.
“Cataract development may be due to gradual damage from oxidative stress during aging,” Chua said in a journal news release, so the antioxidants in wine might help counter that.
Still, Gorski agreed that the research couldn’t prove alcohol promotes eye health.
“I think that this is an important study, however further studies are necessary to see if the findings will be repeated,” he cautioned. “At this time, I will certainly not be telling my patients to drink small amounts of alcohol in order to decrease the chance of cataract surgery.”
Dr. Mark Fromer is an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Reading over the findings, he agreed that “further studies will be necessary to determine whether this association is causal in nature. If, in fact, low to moderate levels of alcohol intake has a causal effect on the reduction of cataract formation, it is likely that it occurs over a long period of time.”
The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on cataracts.