We are all well aware that green tea has been getting a lot of positive press over the last few years. Many studies have been released suggesting that drinking green tea may provide you with health benefits, including improved brain function, increased fat burning, and lowered risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Is it any wonder that this drink could increase eyesight, as well? According to recent research, the antioxidants in green tea may help your eyes in several ways:
Protects Against Oxidative Stress
A study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that the antioxidants in green tea could be found in eyes more than 20 hours after the drink had been consumed. These antioxidants are referred to as “catechins” and were concluded to absorb into the lens, retina, and other eye tissues, protecting against various eye diseases.
Catechins scavenge for free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to illnesses. Catechins are also very significant to our vision health, as they are among a number of different antioxidants (also including vitamin C and vitamin E), which help to protect the delicate tissues of the eye from eye diseases such as glaucoma.
Protects Against UV Damage
According to a study conducted by the Chosun University College of Medicine in Korea, the antioxidants found in green tea can actually protect against UV damage. When the green tea antioxidants were administered in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells, the cell count and activity actually increased, which will undoubtedly lead to future discoveries in this area.
Prevents Cataract Formation
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is a disease associated with the oxidative stress produced by free radicals. In 2002, a study discovered that green tea leaf extract may protected the eyes from forming cataracts.
Protects Against Age Related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma
Oxford University conducted a study that suggested green tea may protect against degeneration and glaucoma. This study investigated whether green tea antioxidant could reduce free radical damage and alleviate degeneration of the retina when introduced to a cell culture. Scientists came to the conclusion that green tea contains a very powerful antioxidant that allows oxidative stress to be reduced when injected into the eye. This study provided “proof of principle” for the idea that a daily intake of green tea may help retinal diseases, like AMD and glaucoma, where oxidative stress is implicated.
Given the many studies that are being released linking improved vision health to green tea, it may just be advantageous to replace your morning cup of tea/coffee with a little green tea once in a while. You may find that your eyes will thank you in the long run.
This post originally appeared in LASIK Eyes Boston.