You probably know that I love tea. Drinking a cup or two is such a soothing, delicious ritual that I'd be happy to keep drinking tea just for the stress-busting effects. But tea does far more than just calm you down (or give you a little boost if you drink a caffeinated form). It's full of antioxidants that fight inflammation and improve our health in a variety of ways. It can reduce your cancer risk and improve your cardiovascular health. But that's not all it can do. New research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology has added another benefit to the list: It protects your eyesight.
For this study, researchers reviewed data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This survey is conducted every year in the U.S. with approximately 10,000 participants. In 2005-2006, the data collection process included an eye test to check for glaucoma. Of the 1,678 people who took part in the eye testing, about 5% had developed the condition.
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The researchers examined the diets, including beverage consumption, of the participants and noticed an interesting correlation. The participants who drank hot caffeinated tea every day had a 74% lower risk of developing glaucoma compared to those who didn't, once the researchers accounted for other risk factors, like diabetes and smoking. Interestingly, the association didn't hold for coffee, decaffeinated tea, iced tea, or caffeinated soft drinks.
We know that oxidative stress is a major contributor to glaucoma. And we also know that hot tea is full of antioxidants. So I'm not surprised by these results. While the research is preliminary, I think it provides another great argument for drinking a cup of tea every day. While I love green tea because of its myriad benefits (check the archives for more information), you can choose any form of hot caffeinated tea that you enjoy. Just be sure that you don't load it with sugar. Sugar is inflammatory and will increase your oxidative stress load rather than reduce it.
If you just don't like tea or you'd like to add an extra layer of protection to your eyesight, you can also try Advanced Vision Formula. It's great for relieving tired, strained eyes and for giving you the antioxidant support you need to protect your eyes from glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other eye issues as you age.
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Connie M Wu, Annie M Wu, Victoria L Tseng, Fei Yu, Anne L Coleman. Frequency of a diagnosis of glaucoma in individuals who consume coffee, tea and/or soft drinks. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 2017; DOI: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-310924