Fact or Fiction: Green Tea Benefits Your Eye Health

Green Tea Eye Health

Photo Credit: Flickr, Photographer: ajari

There’s no question that green tea (camellia sinesis) has many health benefits. Native to China, green tea has been linked to helping lower the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and even certain types of cancer. Green tea has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to help control free radical cells that our body naturally produces. These radical cells are the same ones that can be affected by environmental factors such as UV rays, cigarette smoke or pollution and start attacking our healthy cells, causing what we know as cancer. But the question we’re most interested in:

Does green tea really help your eye health?

The specific antioxidant called catechin (also known as epigallocatechin-gallate or EGCG) is key to this question. According to sources such as WebMD.com, green tea has a high concentration of catechins. When mixed with all the other beneficial components that can be found in the same tea (such as vitamin C and E, lutien and zeaxanthin), catechins work hard to protect your eye from eye diseases, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Research done on lab rats by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that eye tissue absorbs the antioxidant from the tea. This report served as the first indication that eye tissue was even capable of absorbing catechins. So, back to our original question: Does green tea really help your eye health? While further testing will have to be done to prove humans would reap the same benefits as the lab subjects, the studies look promising. Scientists in India and China recognize that their trials are preliminary; however, they strongly suggest that green tea, with its high concentration of the antioxidant catechin, is in fact, helpful to your eyes.

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