Your daily hot cuppa may hold another surprising health benefit

Cup of tea

FRIDAY, Dec. 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) - Individuals who consume hot tea daily may have a lower risk of developing glaucoma, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology. There was no significant correlation between glaucoma and consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, iced tea and soft drinks, and glaucoma.

Participants who consumed at least six cups a week were 74% less likely to have glaucoma when compared with those who did not consume hot tea.

These include starting menstruation at an older age, using oral contraceptives and going through menopause or having ovaries removed at a younger age.

This year, they also included eye tests for glaucoma.

Glaucoma causes fluid pressure to build up inside the eye, damaging the optic nerve.

And previous research has suggested that oxidation and neurodegeneration may be involved in the development of glaucoma, they added.

"However, as this study looked at many dietary factors and is only a snapshot taken at a single time point, further longer term studies in the United Kingdom and other populations are needed, to see if tea drinking really does protect us from glaucoma".

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But if you want to reduce your risk of glaucoma, there are other things you should focus on. Writing in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researchers in the USA describe the association between consumption of coffee, tea or soft drinks and this condition, which affects over 2.7 million people in America alone, and nearly 60 million worldwide.

As the study was observational, firm conclusions on the cause and effect can not be drawn.

They also surveyed the participants' reactions to a questionnaire about the frequency of they had drunk coffee, hot tea, soft drinks or iced tea in the past year, and whether those drinks were caffeinated or decaffeinated.

The study also had other limitations, such as the small number of participants with glaucoma and a lack of detailed information about the timeline of diagnosis. Still, this is good news if you're a tea drinker.

Tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective chemicals, which have been associated with a lowered risk of serious conditions, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, the researchers said. Glaucoma is eye disorder that is linked to blindness.

"Further research is needed to establish the importance of these findings and whether hot tea consumption may play a role in the prevention of glaucoma", said the researchers.

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