Green tea good for the eyes27th April 2010
Molecular compounds found in green tea actually penetrate eye tissues, according to a recent Hong Kong study.
The researchers found that drinking green tea protects the eye from oxidative stress, and may even protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases.
Chi Pui Pang, a professor from the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said that the finding indicated that green tea consumption benefited the eye against oxidative stress.
He and his team found that all parts of the eye, including the lens, retina, and other tissues directly absorbed green tea catechins.
Catechins are a class of antioxidants found in abundance in green tea and other foods associated with healthy lifestyles, as well as certain types of chocolate and red wine.
Some common catechins found in green tea include vitamin C and vitamin E, though the drink contains others that are less familiar, such as lutein, and zeaxanthin.
The researchers found that the effect of catechins from drinking one cup of green tea lasted for up to 20 hours.
Gallocatechin, one of the catechins, went directly to the retina in very high quantities after the mice drank the green tea, while epigallocatechin, another compound found in green tea, went directly into the aqueous humour.
In other studies, catechins have also been shown to reduce atherosclerotic plaques, stroke risk, and heart failure risk.
They have also been shown to reduce people's risk of cancer, diabetes, and DNA damage from a variety of causes, as well as having an antibiotic effect.
One catechin in particular, known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), has been shown to reduce leukaemia cell counts in people who have the disease.
Epidemiological studies since the 1970s have also shown lower incidence of solid tumour cancers in parts of the world where green tea is consumed.
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