Daily cup of coffee helps protect eyes

081214For people who don’t indulge in a daily cup of coffee, they might want to consider picking up the habit.

Cornell University researchers have found that drinking coffee protects the eyes from retinal degeneration caused by aging, diabetes and glaucoma. Coffee contains a powerful antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid (CLA) and this helps to grab the free radicals that cause retinal damage.

Cornell researchers treated mice with nitric oxide in order to create free radicals that damage vision. The group of mice that were treated beforehand with CLA did not incur any retinal damage. These study results add to the growing list of all of the beneficial properties of coffee, which include reducing the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer.

Additional studies will examine whether drinking coffee will enable CLA to cross the blood-retinal barrier directly into the retina. If CLA is proven to be effective then, potentially, eye drops could be developed to administer the compound directly into the eye.*

 

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