A study from Cornell University found that drinking a cup of coffee a day may prevent eyesight deterioration and even blindness!
According to the research, one of coffee’s main ingredients, chlorogenic acid- an antioxidant, may protect against retinal degeneration from glaucoma, aging and diabetes , which may all lead to blindness.
The study compared two groups of mice eyes treated with nitric oxide (which degenerates the retina). One group of mice eyes were pretreated with chlorogenic acid, and the other was not. The group pretreated with chlorogenic acid did not develop retinal damage.
It helps to understand a little bit about how the eye works. The retina is a thin layer of tissue on the back wall of the eye with millions of cells that receive and organize visual information. This tissue demands higher levels of oxygen than any other tissues, including the brain, and is prone to diseases (like age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma) caused by oxidative stress. Past studies have suggested that chlorogenic acid may prevent the deprivation of oxygen and overall degeneration in certain parts of the body.
Dr. Robert Bittel, a spokesperson from the American Optometric Association and a regular coffee-drinker, believes the Cornell study deserves follow-up research.
“As with any study that cites commonly used food items as therapeutic in some way, caution has to be taken so that the public understands the negative as well as the positive potential implications of drinking coffee,” Bittel said.
If future studies find that chlorogenic acid does, in fact, prevent retinal damage, companies could produce a synthetic compound and deliver it with eye drops!