Grapes in the diet linked to improved eye health

Grapes in the diet linked to improved eye health

Originally posted by: westernfarmpress

In tests, grapes reduce retinal degeneration
  • Grapes in the diet linked to improved eye health
  • Retinal function
  • New research suggests that consistent grape consumption may improve eye health by protecting the retina from deterioration.
  • A grape-enriched diet in a study with mice protected retinal structure and function.

New research findings suggest that consistent grape consumption may help eye health by protecting the retina from deterioration.

Specifically, a grape-enriched diet protects retinal structure and function.

The retina has cells which respond to light, also known as photoreceptors which includes two types – rods and cones.

Retinal degenerative diseases impact more than five million people in the U.S. The maladies can result in blindness caused by photoreceptor cell death.

The study was conducted by a research team with the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. The research investigated whether a diet supplemented with grapes could protect the photoreceptors in mice which have retinal degeneration.

Mice were fed a grape-supplemented diet corresponding to three servings of grapes per day for people, or one of two control diets.

The research findings were shared at the recent Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) conference in Orlando, Fla.

The research results suggest that retinal function was significantly protected in the mice consuming the grape-enriched diet. In fact, the grape-consuming rodent group had three times more rod and cone photoreceptor responses compared with those on the control diets.

The grape-fed mice also had thicker retinas.

Retinal function

Grape consumption also protected retinal function in a form of macular degeneration. In addition, grape-fed mice had reduced levels of inflammatory proteins and higher amounts of protective proteins in the retinas.

“The grape-enriched diet provided substantial protection of retinal function which is very exciting,” said Abigail Hackam, the study’s lead investigator.

“It appears that grapes may work in multiple ways to promote eye health from signaling changes at the cellular level to directly countering oxidative stress,” Hackam said.

ARVO is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world representing members from more than 70 countries.


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Telemedicine Initiative To Treat, Prevent Blindness






University of California, Davis (UCD) And Orbis International Partner

5/23/2014 9:07:19 AM

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 May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, UC Davis Health System and Orbis International, a leading global non-governmental organization (NGO) that works to eliminate avoidable blindness, signed an agreement of cooperation that will expand the use of telemedicine technology to help treat and prevent blindness in the developing world.

Orbis operates the Flying Eye Hospital (FEH), a fully equipped mobile teaching hospital. UC Davis telemedicine, information technology and eye specialists will work with Orbis to expand training efforts including through Orbis Flying Eye Hospital programs.

The new alliance, which features the expertise of the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology and the UC Davis Eye Center, paves the way for developing new research, education and telehealth collaborations to advance vision science and eye care on a global scale.

The World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. This includes 39 million individuals who are blind and 246 million who have low vision. About 90 percent of the world’s visually impaired live in developing countries, and 80 percent of all cases of visual impairment can be avoided or cured. These include refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma, the leading causes of visual impairment worldwide.

Through the agreement, UC Davis specialists in telemedicine, information technology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology and nursing will work with Orbis on initiatives such as staff development, fellowships and programs on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital — a fully equipped mobile teaching hospital on board a DC-10 jet. Trainees will have opportunities for hands-on training in the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology simulation center and Orbis’s telehealth program for real-time surgical demonstrations.

“Orbis is honored to join in this agreement with the UC Davis Eye Center,” said Jenny Hourihan, president and chief executive officer of Orbis. “UC Davis is such an impressive partner and dedicated in helping to make quality eye health accessible while advancing programs and technology used in eye health worldwide. We are excited to collaborate and share tools and resources to expand the reach and influence that telehealth has in preventing and treating avoidable blindness.”

The project includes establishing telehealth links that will transmit live broadcasts of eye surgeries at UC Davis to virtual classrooms in remote regions in the developing world with the opportunity for trainees thousands of miles away to ask questions of surgeons in real time. It also will explore live e-consultations with partners around the world and further Orbis’s ongoing efforts to establish an open-source ophthalmic electronic medical record system, which will help develop a more robust e-health infrastructure, provide access to increased decision-making support and offer researchers a wealth of global data.

“Advances in telecommunications technologies and broadband capacity in developing countries has created new opportunities to improve training for physicians, nurses and other members of the health-care team and expanded access to health-care services among the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Thomas Nesbitt, associate vice chancellor for strategic technologies and alliances at UC Davis. “By partnering with Orbis, a recognized pioneer in establishing sustainable, quality eye health care worldwide, we are leveraging UC Davis’ expertise in telehealth and distance learning to have a profound impact on global health.”

Orbis works to bring quality eye care to communities by building capacity with local partners to develop infrastructure, trained staff and, ultimately, sustainable eye care services. Since 1982, Orbis has carried out programs in 92 countries, enhanced the skills of more than 325,000 eye care professionals, and provided medical and optical treatments to more than 23.3 million adults and children. Since 2006, nearly 20 UC Davis faculty and staff have participated in 14 medical missions, traveling to ChinaVietnam,PeruIndonesiaIndiaEl SalvadorEthiopiaZambia and Panama.

About UC Davis Health System

UC Davis Health System improves lives by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education and creating dynamic, productive community partnerships. It encompasses one of the country’s best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1,000-member physician practice group and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is also home to the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, a global leader in using telehealth and distance learning to meet the needs of populations in remote and underserved regions, and the UC Davis Eye Center, which conducts collaborative vision research, provides world-class eye care, trains the next generation of ophthalmologists and vision scientists, and develops cures for blinding eye diseases, from cornea to cortex.Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For information, visit

About Orbis
Orbis prevents and treats blindness through hands-on training, public health education, improved access to quality eye care, advocacy and partnerships with local health care organizations. By building long-term capabilities, Orbis helps its partner institutions take action to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible, and sustainable. To learn more about Orbis, please visit

Related Links
UC Davis Health System

A glaucoma teaching case operation in progress on board the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital in Jinan, China being conducted by Dr. James Brandt, Orbis Volunteer Faculty member from UC Davis. A new partnership with UC Davis will include establishing telehealth links that will transmit live broadcasts of eye surgeries at UC Davis to virtual classrooms in remote regions in the developing world with the opportunity for trainees thousands of miles away to ask questions of surgeons in real time.
Orbis Volunteer Faculty Member Dr. James Brandt of UC Davis gives a lecture in the classroom on board the Flying Eye Hospital in Jinan, China in April. UCD Health System, UCD Center for Health and Technology, the UCD Eye Center and Orbis have signed an agreement of cooperation to expand the use of telemedicine technology to treat and prevent avoidable blindness globally.

Thank you Orbis


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Cheap Smartphone Eye Exam

peek eye exam Cheap Smartphone Eye Exam System Rivals Professional Equipment in Field TrialsLast year we covered a new smartphone-based eye exam system that was being tested in Kenya as an alternative to traditional, costlier equipment. The PEEK (Portable Eye Examination Kit) combines the power of a smartphone, including its camera and flash, with a 3D printed clip-on adapter that makes taking eye exams a snap. Here’s Andrew Bastawrous, a Kenyan ophthalmologist that’s the lead on the project, showing off the technology and discussing how it completely changed the way eye exams have been performed in the field trials.


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Cone Rod Dystrohpy: What it is, and can you help?

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CR dystro_XLinked_D_F

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Information on diet, nutrition & self-help options

Rod cone dystrophy is expressed as a number of inherited eye problems, due to the common cause of malfunctioning of the cone and rod photoreceptors. These photoreceptors change light into electric nerve messages that transfer to our brain via our optic nerve. Cones are the photoreceptor cells which allow us to see fine details and color and comprise our central vision. Rods are for low light vision and permit night and peripheral vision. The malfunctioning photoreceptor cells be problematic starting in childhood, or may lose their functionality with time.

Self Help

Since we consider most eye conditions to be a reflection of the health of the whole body, lifestyle choices and diet can play a major factor in getting and maintaining good vision. Below are some recommendations:

Supplementation with research-proven nutrients and eyedrops that have been found to be helpful to protect vision.
See our recommendations for healthy eyes for details.
Eye exercises can help to bring energy and blood to the eyes, thereby helping to drain away toxins or congestion to the eyes. These are free general eye exercises and acupressure points for overall eye health.
It is possible to slow down vision loss and possibly maintain healthy vision:

Energy moving modalities such as acupuncture and microcurrent stimulation may be helpful.
See all retinal support vitamins & supplements
Rod and cone photoreceptors are good at seeing different things. Here are some examples:

Rods are good at ‘seeing’:

things that move but only in black and white
seeing in the dark
seeing things on the sides of us (peripheral vision)
Cones are good at ‘seeing’:

things that are still
fine details of thing in daylight
objects in color
things in fine detail including reading, looking at photographs and recognizing faces

gradual loss of night vision
gradual loss of peripheral vision
sensitivity to bright light
vision is best at dusk
errors in color vision in both red-green and blue-yellow ranges
Young children with Rod-Cone Dystrophy may develop:

Fast ‘to and fro’ movements of the eyes. This is referred to Nystagmus.
‘Roving’ eye movements where the eyes appear to slowly wander around not fixing and staying still on any objects.
‘Eye Poking’ where the child touches their eyes with their fingers.
Parents will often notice these signs by the way the child acts.


There are many different causes of Rod-Cone Dystrophies. Often one does not know why a child has a Rod-Cone Dystrophy. When no cause can be identified this is called Idiopathic.

Most Rod-Cone Dystrophies are genetically based and result from “misprints” in a child’s genes, and are typically carried forward from the parents’ genes although sometimes by chance a new mistake occurs in the child’s genes and the parents’ genes are normal.

Conventional Treatment

There is no good conventional way to stop the sight loss in Rod-Cone Dystrophy.

Related Conditions

Other eye conditions where the rod and cone photoreceptor cells do not work properly include: Leber’s Amaurosis, Retinitis Pigmentosa, Usher’s Syndrome and Batten’s Disease.

Synonyms: Retinal Cone Degeneration, Retinal Cone-Rod Dystrophy, Cone Rod Dystrophy, Combined Cone-Rod Degeneration, Cone Rod Degeneration, Progressive Cone Rod Dystrophy, Retinal Cone Dystrophy, Retinal Cone Rod Dystrophy


Though there are no specific studies on nutrients and this particular condition, there is extensive research on nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin and bilberry among others that have been shown to be essential for the health of the rod-cone structures. Based on these studies, Dr. Grossman has selected specific nutrients and products to help support this part of the eye and overall eye health. Some research on macular degenerationor retinitis pigmentosa may be applicable.
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Gold and Lasers May Help Restore Vision to Many

Gold and Lasers May Help Restore Vision to Many
by Gene Ostrovsky on Jul 20, 2011 • 1:51 pm

At Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology research is underway to develop a method of activating optic nerves by laser stimulation.  The idea is to embed gold nanoparticles within the eye that can then be excited by lasers from within a pair of glasses.  If successful, this technology will help people suffering from eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration.

The researchers are looking for a non-contact method of stimulating nerves and are exploring the use of laser light, rather than the direct electrical stimulation techniques that have become the conventional approach.

Using a very low intensity laser source they are trying to generate the right amount of heat required to elicit a response from nerve cells without damaging them.

According to researcher PhD student Chiara Paviolo, the new concept explores the potential for light to deliver far more precise nerve cell stimulation than electrodes.

“Electrodes need an electrical current and so they consequently stimulate a group of nerves,” Paviolo said.

“Light, however, allows us to target individual nerves and this should mean more accurate communication of optical signals – an essential outcome if the information delivered to the brain via a prosthesis is to mean anything useful in terms of shapes, colours, dimensions. You don’t just want optical ‘noise’.”

The initial goal is to successfully bond the nanoparticles to the nerve and then achieve a response to light heat.

Gold nanoparticles are being used because gold is inert, biocompatible and has plasmonic or light-responsive properties. The gold nanoparticles can also be fabricated to respond to different wavelengths, making the interface controllable.

“One of the challenges is to develop nanoparticles that are thermally stable,” said Professor of Biointerface Engineering Sally McArthur . “While on one hand heat is necessary, it also has to be limited to avoid damaging cells. Laser heat has long been used in medicine to deliberately kill tissue, but in this instance the opposite result is sought.”

To measure and control the heat, the Swinburne team is building a molecular thermal sensor to measure how much heat is produced, so they can then work out how to control it.

Press release: Bionic eye hope blends lasers and gold…

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