Drink tea to prevent glaucoma. How much you have to drink daily?.
While experts say the study does not show that the brew will protect you from the condition completely, they do believe the antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatories found in tea might play a role in reducing a person’s chances of developing it.
Glaucoma, which is thought to affect around 57.5 million people worldwide, is caused by the pressure of fluids inside the eye damaging the optic nerve, and can lead to blindness if left undetected.
And, while the risk of developing it increases with age, it can also affect babies and young children.
Published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers in the US looked at the results of eye examinations from 1,678 participants aged 40 or over, as well as analysing data from a 2005-200 nationwide health and nutrition survery.
They also measured participant’s intake of coffee, hot tea, soft drinks and iced tea in the past year, and whether those drinks were caffeinated or decaffeinated.
Out of the 84 participants who were found to have glaucoma, there appeared to be no link between drinking coffee, soft drinks or iced tea and them having the condition.
It also didn’t appear to matter whether the drinks were decaffeinated or not.
However, the team did note that there was a link to hot tea in general, with those consuming more than six cups a week less likely to have the condition.
In fact, the risk to those who enjoyed the traditional brew in such quantities was 74 per cent lower.
“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 authors write.
That being said, the researchers accept that there are limitations in the study including a lack of data on the type of tea drunk, possible errors in diagnosis and the fact that very few participants had glaucoma.
As such, they suggest that tea drinkers “should realise that the results are preliminary and drinking tea may not prevent glaucoma,” said Anne Coleman, co-author of the research from the University of California, Los Angeles.