Us Brits are known for loving a good cup of tea. In fact in just one day the UK consumes 165 million cups of the stuff! But did you know this popular hot drink does more than taste good and warm up our insides? A new study reveals tea drinkers are 74 per cent less likely to have glaucoma, one of the world’s most common eye diseases.
New study reveals tea drinkers have a reduced risk of glaucoma
Based on an initial study carried out by the British Journal of Ophthalmology, new research has been conducted looking into the diagnosis of glaucoma in individuals who consume coffee, tea and/or soft drinks.
1,600 men and women had eye tests in this survey, with 5 percent diagnosed with glaucoma, 82 people. By comparing these results with the participants beverage consumption habits over the past 12 months, a connection between those that drank one cup of tea a day with a lower risk of glaucoma became apparent.
In fact, the connection was so strong that the study found that people who drank a hot cup of the stuff on a daily basis were a whopping 74 percent less likely to have glaucoma, compared to the non-tea lovers. This finding persisted even when looking at other factors, such as whether the participant was a smoker or had diabetes, both of which can have an impact on a person’s risk of getting glaucoma.
Whilst experts such as Anne Coleman, co-author of the research from the University of California, Los Angeles, are quick to emphasise that drinking tea is not now a cure to prevent this eye disease, it is clear that this finding cannot be ignored and perhaps needs to be looked into further.
"Tea drinkers should feel comfortable about drinking tea, but should realise that the results are preliminary and drinking tea may not prevent glaucoma."
What is glaucoma?
According to the NHS, glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve that connects your eye to your brain becomes damaged, leading to loss of vision if undetected or not treated early on. It is also the leading cause of blindness in the world.
There are several different types of glaucoma which vary in the speed at which they develop and the age they affect. Usually, it occurs when fluid builds up in the eye, which as a result creates pressure and can damage the optic nerve as a result.
It is important if you are suffering from these symptoms that you contact your GP and arrange an appointment as soon as possible.
Why might people's beverage choice affect eye health?
Tea contains plant compounds such as phytochemicals and flavonoids which essentially have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that are not only good for protecting our bodies in general from damage and pollution, but possibly our eyes and the nerves surrounding them.
Researches have emphasised however that there could be a connection with the lifestyle of tea drinkers, rather than the tea itself. Having said that, here are just some of the few extra benefits drinking a warm cup of black tea can have!
- Help protect your cells from DNA damage
- Lower blood pressure if you drink 3 cups every day
- Reduce your risk of having a stroke
- Help protect against type 2 diabetes
- Lower your risk of high cholesterol
- Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Some scientists even believe the antioxidants in tea can help prevent some types of cancer!
With all these health benefits, don’t feel bad about putting your feet up and enjoying a nice cup of tea! Even if it is with a cheeky biscuit on the side...
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