We’ve always been told that eating carrots are good for your eyes. Well, what about drinking tea? It turns out that hot tea may be able to help reduce the risk of glaucoma, according to The New York Times.
Research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology studied 1,678 survey participants and found that those who drank at least one cup of tea daily had a drastically reduced likelihood of getting glaucoma – 74 percent less to be exact. Other beverages like soda and variations of coffee and tea did not seem to have a discernible effect.
But why is there this correlation?
The research team suggest that it is the phytochemicals and flavonoids contained in tea that seem to be the main factors behind this protection.
“Tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids, which have been observed to have anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and neuroprotective properties associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes,” the team explained.
“Prior studies have noted an oxidative and neurodegenerative aetiology in the pathogenesis of glaucoma, suggesting that antioxidants may play a protective role in glaucoma. Additionally, flavonoids have been shown to inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor, and potentially prevent neovascular glaucoma, fibrotic scar tissue formation after glaucoma surgery and neurodegeneration.”
This means that not only is tea good for lowering your risk of glaucoma, it’s also useful for protecting your eyesight after you have gotten it too.
Of course, the researchers emphasise that the results of the study are still at an early stage and more in-depth research must be conducted before a solid link is established.
“If you drink hot tea, keep on doing it,” said the senior author, Dr. Anne L. Coleman, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “But I wouldn’t switch to it if you prefer something else. This is a preliminary finding, and we need to do more studies.”
Even if the results do seem a little hazy, you may just have an excuse to declare more frequent tea breaks. Just don’t start adding carrots to your drink.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer