A new study has found a link between drinking tea and having a lowered risk of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve gets damaged by pressure of the fluid in your eye, causing partial or total sight loss. It’s one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.
Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the University of California’s David Geffen School of Medicine looked at data collected from 10,000 people in the US between 2005-2006, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey.
Seems like a long time ago, but they chose that period because they’re the most recent results with glaucoma data.
Data used in the study – published in the British Medical Journal of Ophthalmology – included interviews, blood samples and physical examinations, and researchers were looking for an correlation between consumption of caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, iced tea, hot tea and soft drinks, and glaucoma.
Out of the 10,000 people, researchers focused on data from the 1,678 people who had info on their beverage consumption and eye test results, with photos. Out of these 1,678, 84 (5%) had developed glaucoma.
Researchers controlled for age, body mass index, gender, ethnicity, smoking status and diabetes.
They found that those who drank at least one cup of caffeinated hot tea daily had a 74% lower chance of having glaucoma, compared to those who didn’t drink decaffeinated hot tea.
There was no significant correlations between consumption of the other drinks, including decaffeinated hot tea.
Before you kick your cappuccinos to the kerb, the study’s authors have acknowledged that their research is ‘limited by its cross-sectional design and use of multiple statistical testing’.
There was also no info on when the participants were diagnosed with glaucoma, or what type of tea was consumed, how long it was brewed for, and in what quantity per serving. Also, was the tea consumed with milk?
Therefore, researchers say that larger studies are needed to investigate the suggested association between tea consumption and decreased glaucoma risk.
Previous studies have shown that drinking black tea can help you lose weight, compounds in black tea may help prevent flu, and drinking daily cups of tea could help women live longer (sorry, guys).
So, keep sipping your beverage of choice and watch this space.