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Does Green Tea Boost your Eyesight?

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At Eye Care Specialists, we are 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, lowered risk of certain kinds of cancer, 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 2010 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 cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. 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 in 2007 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 from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences discovered that green tea leaf extract protected the eyes of rats from forming cataracts.

Protects Against Age Related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma

Oxford University conducted a study in 2006 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 containsa 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, the LASIK Eye Care Specialists recommend that it may just be advantageous to replace your morning cup of coffee with a little green tea once in a while. You may find that your eyes will thank you in the long run. If you would like to schedule an appointment for an eye exam or consultation, call Eye Care Specialists at 781-769-8880.