Drinking a cup of hot tea a day may reduce the risk of developing glaucoma, according to a team of American researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million people around the world, and is considered the leading cause of irreversible blindness. A study conducted by the University of California may have discovered a natural method to reduce the risk of suffering: a daily cup of tea.
The authors of the report analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey, which is conducted every year in the United States. They concluded that people who drank at least one cup of hot tea a day had up to 74% less risk of developing glaucoma.
According to the study, now published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the tea plant do not completely prevent ocular diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve and often loss of vision but significantly reduce the risk.
The same research, which crossed beverage consumption over the course of a year with eye test results, found drinking coffee, iced tea, decaffeinated tea or soft drinks did not significantly reduce that risk.
The results of the study will now have to be complemented by investigations focused only on the consumption of hot tea, note its authors. In addition to having a low incidence of glaucoma among the participants (5.1 percent), the type of tea and the exact temperature of the tea were not taken into account. Only those who drank hot tea with caffeine were determined.
“The results are preliminary and drinking hot tea may not prevent glaucoma,” Anne Coleman, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and co-author of the study, told The Independent. “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.”