Tea drinkers have lower glaucoma risk

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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

December 18 2017. A report appearing on December 14, 2017 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology documents an association between drinking hot tea and a reduction in the risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a disease in which pressure builds up inside the eye, resulting in damage to the optic nerve and visual impairment. It is one of the leading causes of blindness.

The study included participants in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Questionnaire responses provided information concerning the frequency of consumption of regular or decaffeinated coffee and tea, iced tea and soft drinks during the previous 12 months. Eye examinations conducted during 2005-2006 among 1,678 participants revealed the presence of glaucoma in 5% of the adults.

The research team found an association between drinking hot tea once daily or more frequently and a 74% lower adjusted risk of glaucoma. No effect on glaucoma risk was found for regular or decaffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea, iced tea and soft drinks.

The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective compounds in tea may play a role in the protective effects that have been associated with the beverage in numerous studies. Positive effects have also been revealed for caffeine in recent research. Findings from another study suggest that caffeine can lower intraocular pressure.

“This study is limited by its cross-sectional design and use of multiple statistical testing, and larger prospective studies are needed to investigate the proposed association between tea consumption and decreased glaucoma risk,” authors Connie M. Wu of Brown University and colleagues conclude.

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