There are several benefits to drinking tea, from helping with weight-loss to boosting your immune system. Thanks to recent research, you may also check another thing off the list: reducing the risk of glaucoma.
The Guardian recently reported that having a cup of hot tea a day could possibly reduce the risk of glaucoma by 74% compared to people who didn’t drink any. The research, which was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, revealed this correlation after conducting tests from a pool of 1678 survey participants who were also given other beverages such as coffee and soft drinks.
“In summary, individuals who consumed hot tea were less likely to have a diagnosis of glaucoma compared with those who did not consume hot tea,” the research team noted.
Despite the correlation, it’s only natural for people to be sceptical of such research. Anne Coleman, co-author of the research from the University of California, Los Angeles, pointed out that frequent drinkers of tea shouldn’t depend on their findings as a definite preventative measure against glaucoma.
“Tea drinkers should feel comfortable about drinking tea but should realise that the results are preliminary and drinking tea may not prevent glaucoma,” she emphasised.
Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow pointed out that further testing is required as there are several variables that haven’t been taken into account.
“I would not say in any way that this proves that drinking tea prevents glaucoma,” he said, adding that people should still be mindful of their usual lifestyle habits in order to protect their eyes. “Drinking tea without sugar is certainly beneficial because it is a very low calorie drink; whether it has got other magical benefits like preventing glaucoma I think is open to question,” he said.
Despite the rather inconclusive outcome, one thing is certain: we’ll always be looking forward to a tea break whether it helps our eyes or not.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer