Washington D.C. [USA]: Attention tea lovers, here's another reason to drink another cup of hot tea at least once a day as a study has said that it significantly lowers the risk of glaucoma.
The researchers explained that tea contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective chemicals, which have been associated with a lowered risk of serious conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Glaucoma causes fluid pressure to build up inside the eye (intraocular pressure), damaging the optic nerve, which is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
The team looked at data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the US. This is a nationally representative annual survey of around 10, 000 people that includes interviews, physical examinations, and blood samples, designed to gauge the health and nutritional status of US adults and children.
In this particular year, it also included eye tests for glaucoma.
Among 1,678 participants, who had full eye test results, 84 or five percent adults had developed the condition.
They asked the participants of how often and how much they drink caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks, including soft drinks and iced tea, over the preceding 12 months, using a validated questionnaire (Food Frequency).
They were then compared with those who did not drink hot tea every day and found that those who did, had a lower glaucoma risk.
The findings also revealed that drinking decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated tea, iced tea and soft drinks does not seem to make any difference to glaucoma risk.
After taking into account potentially influential factors, such as diabetes and smoking, hot tea-drinkers about 74 percent less likely to have glaucoma.
The research appears online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.