Written by Greg Arnold, DC, CSCS. Resveratrol, when fed to 15 mice for 7 days, was able to stop the induced angiogenesis that was simulated to mimic the eye damage seen in diabetic retinopathies.

The process of angiogenesis (“New Blood”) is when the body forms new blood vessels to help with healing and cell reproduction (1). But angiogenesis can spiral out of control and cause “pathologic angiogenesis” such as in the progression of cancer (2) and the onset of heart disease or eye diseases. Pathologic angiogenesis in the eye leads to blindness, affecting either the back of the eye called the retina (resulting in diabetic retinopathy in the elderly or even blindness in infants) or the part of the eye called the choroid that leads to age-related macular degeneration, which causes vision loss in more than 200,000 people every year (3) and is the leading cause of irreversible visual impairment in the world (4). As a result, finding ways to control angiogenesis is of primary importance in health.

A new study in mice (7) has found that resveratrol, a main ingredient in grapes, may help with blood vessel health. In the study, researchers found that resveratrol given doses of 45 mg per kg of bodyweight (equivalent to 3150 mg for a 70 kg human) for 7 days was able to stop angiogenesis in the eyes of 15 mice that were simulated to be characteristic of eye damage seen during diabetic retinopathy. The induced eye damage was performed on day 8 of the study. Specifically, resveratrol increased activity of a protein called Sirt1

For the researchers, “These properties of resveratrol…could be potentially exploited to treat [eye] disorders …that have abnormal angiogenesis as a central feature of disease [progression].” Supplemental doses of resveratrol range from 50 to 200 mg per day which is significantly less than the 3150 mg equivalent used in the experiment. It should be noted that a marker compound was used and the mice did not actually have diabetic retinopathy. Also important is that animal experiments should lead to trials in humans.

Source: Khan, Aslam A., Dru S. Dace, Alexey G. Ryazanov, Jennifer Kelly, and Rajendra S. Apte. “Resveratrol regulates pathologic angiogenesis by a eukaryotic elongation factor-2 kinase-regulated pathway.” The American journal of pathology 177, no. 1 (2010): 481-492.

Copyright © American Society for Investigative Pathology

Posted July 23, 2010.


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