Three Blind Mice and Red Wine

miceThey’re at it again: feeding perfectly good wine to laboratory mice in the interest of Science. While I question whether this is a good use of something I could be drinking, I’m all for Advancing Human Knowledge, if that means finding yet another reason for everyone to drink wine.

I wrote a story a few months ago (“Are You a Man(Woman) or a Mouse”) about a study that used mice to research the effects of resveratrol, a substance that occurs in the skins and seeds of red wine grapes and therefore in red wine. Now, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri have reported the results of another mouse study. I’ll call it the Mighty Mouse study, because the results are indeed important.

Here’s what the university’s press release said: “The investigators studied mice that develop abnormal blood vessels in the retina after laser treatment. Apte’s team found that when the mice were given resveratrol, the abnormal blood vessels began to disappear.” In short, “Resveratrol…stops out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye.”

That’s a good thing, because “The discovery has implications for preserving vision in blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 50.”

Wow! That means that we should drink red wine so we can continue to see clearly. But not too much, because we all know that over-indulging in red wine or any other alcohol is the primary cause of slobbering drunkenness, which is not only unattractive but definitely impedes the vision.

So think of red wine as just another vitamin supplement: it’s just a lot more fun to swallow. Cheers!

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