You know the saying: a cup of hot tea a day, keeps the glaucoma away.
Wait, that’s not a saying? Well it should be, as a new study suggests drinking a hot cup of caffeinated tea every day can lower your risk of glaucoma.
The researchers say the risk of developing the debilitating eye condition reduces by 74% with hot tea added to a daily diet regimen. Interestingly, other caffeinated beverages like coffee, iced tea, soft drinks, and even decaffeinated tea, seemed to have no impact one way or the other.
To reach their conclusions, the researchers examined data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in the U.S., which represents around 10,000 people.
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The survey included interviews, physical examinations, blood samples, and eye tests for glaucoma. Among the participants, 1,678 of them had full eye-test results; 84% of that total developed glaucoma.
The research team then asked how much, and how often, they consumed caffeinated and decaffeinated drinks, including soft drinks and iced tea, over the past year. This is when they discovered the link between a daily hot tea and a lower risk of developing glaucoma.
But because this was an observational study, researchers can’t draw conclusions about why this may be. The survey didn’t account for varying factors like cup size, type of tea, or length of brew time, which can all have influence over the early results.
“More research will be necessary before a definitive statement can be made on just how valuable these teas are to our health,” registered dietitian Andy De Santis says.
“However, their benefit most likely rests in contributing to an already strong diet including a variety of fruits, veggies and whole grains.”
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