Recent research showed that the risks of developing glaucoma in people who drank hot tea every day were significantly lower. Coffee consumption was previously associated with increased risks for developing glaucoma caused by increased intraocular blood pressure.
However, the results of the succeeding research were ambiguous. Some researchers say that coffee consumption does not influence the risks of glaucoma while others obtained mixed results.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve due to abnormally high pressure in the eye. This is one of the leading causes of blindness. Glaucoma is usually associated with diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and age. This condition is most common among people aged 40 and above.
Do Tea Drinkers Have Lower Risks?
Coming from a study of about 10,000 people, the medical data that the researchers analyzed showed that the participants who drank hot tea daily had 74% lower risks of glaucoma than those who did not.
The study used several tools such as physical examinations, interviews, and blood samples to ensure detailed health analysis. As part of the assessment, the participants were questioned about their drinking habits, together with the frequency and the amount of hot tea, coffee, soft drinks, and decaffeinated tea they had over the past year.
Considering that the results must be consistent, the team also checked for potential confounding factors, including smoking habits and history of diabetes.
How Tea May Have Prevented Glaucoma
Though the effects of tea yet require further studies, study author Wu, notes that it would not be so far-fetched to recognize the protective metabolic effect of tea consumption.
The authors note in their study that tea contains phytochemicals and flavonoids, which have been noted to contain anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and neuroprotective properties linked with the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Wu and colleagues also relate to existing studies that have suggested that glaucoma may be an effect of oxidative stress and neurodegeneration, which are two processes associated with aging and breakdown at cellular and molecular levels.
Acknowledging the potential protective effect of consuming hot tea to cell aging and damage, researchers still suggest that further studies should be dedicated to investigating the role of this common, and much-loved, beverage. The team concludes that much more in-depth research is yet to be conducted to prove the effectiveness of drinking hot tea to prevent glaucoma.