Let’s face it: you couldn’t survive without your morning coffee, right?
Well, there may be one more reason to love it. Your eyes. New research shows that coffee may have multiple protective effects for your eyes. It’s been associated with a multitude of health benefits. Medical News Today reports that drinking coffee might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. But, what’s more exciting for those of us who wear glasses is that drinking a cup or more per day may help protect against deteriorating eyesight.
It can even protect against blindness.
Researchers from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY showed that coffee has multiple protective effects for the eyes. Raw coffee beans contain between 7 and 9 percent of a substance called CGA or chlorogenic acid.
This is a potent antioxidant, and has been associated with numerous health benefits, like weight loss and blood pressure reduction.
And, while past studies have shown that CGA is a powerful neuroprotectant, there’s been a lot of interest in identifying protective compounds in coffee that will block hypoxia or oxygen deprivation.
A Cup Of Coffee A Day Keeps The Doctors Away
Researchers found that coffee extract and the substance known as CGA protects mice against retinal degeneration. The retina is a thin layer of cells at the back of the eye. It’s made up of light-sensitive cells, sort of like a sensor on a camera. It also contains nerve cells. These cells are responsible for receiving an organizing all of the visual information our eyes take in.
However, they’re also susceptible to oxygen deprivation. And, since the retina is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, it needs lots and lots of oxygen. And, when it doesn’t get the oxygen it needs, problems like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma are all more likely.
The researchers found that both the CGA and coffee extract reduced RGC death by preventing the down-regulation of Thy-1, which is a cell surface protein.
This study is one of the first that shows that CGA is responsible for the reduction of RCG apoptosis (cell death) that’s induced by hypoxia. This is how the researchers came to the conclusion that drinking coffee may be beneficial. If it works in mice, it may also work in human beings.
Of course, for visual acuity problems, like nearsightedness, you need surgery, corrective lenses, or a combination of both. You can read this to get a better idea of the procedures available in the UK and how they work, as well as what they cost.
Various procedures, like LASIK, correct vision problems by reshaping the cornea of the eye so that light bending at the cornea is refocused at the back of the retina. For most people, this will solve the visual acuity problem.
However, keeping the eye healthy overall is still important, which is why this research is so amazing. For the first time, there is evidence that something widely available and consumed by so many people, may be helping people. So, if you’re a coffee drinker, you may have been improving the health of your eye without even knowing it.
Melissa Berry works as a medical receptionist. A people person, she also enjoys writing; her articles usually focusing on an aspect of her work in one way or another.