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Resveratrol’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help prevent development of macular telangiectasia (MacTel), a disease that can lead to blindness. In a recently published animal study, mice with MacTel treated orally with resveratrol showed less retinal lesions than untreated mice. The reduction in lesion count occurred whether the mice were treated before the onset of MacTel or after lesions had already developed. This suggests that resveratrol can not only protect against the disease becoming symptomatic but may also be useful in treating and reducing lesions.50
Extensive research documenting resveratrol’s benefits in eye conditions associated with diabetes lend further support to its potential preventive effect in MacTel. Many studies have documented a link between diabetes and heart disease as conditions related to retinopathy and MacTel. Although a three year analysis of 26 patients (published in 2006) with the condition had suggested that the connection between diabetes and macular telangiectasia was unlikely, most other research indicates a connection between the two conditions.123,136
There also appears to be a genetic factor in MacTel which may be triggered or enhanced by other conditions or environmental factors. In several studies researchers analyzed related patients from separate families with the condition, but the numbers of related patients appeared to be low. However, a study published in 2009 discovered that additional members in patients’ families also had the condition but were symptom-free, suggesting that many cases may go undiagnosed. This study also showed a strong association between macular telangiectasia, diabetes, and heart disease.123
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Because the percentage of patients in this group who had diabetes
matched the percentage found in the overall population.