According to a recent study, beneficial properties found in green tea may help protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases.
Researchers have long thought that antioxidants in green tea known as catechins were capable of protecting the eye, but no one knew for sure if they could actually pass from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye.
After conducting various experiments with lab rats, study author Chi Pui Pang and his colleagues concluded that eye structures are in fact capable of absorbing significant amounts of individual catechins. The beneficial effects of antioxidants found in green tea lasted in the eye for up to 20 hours.
"Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress," which can lead to retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma, said Pang.
Additional studies need to be conducted to confirm green tea’s protective effect in humans.
Separate studies have also suggested that antioxidants may help prevent heart disease, improve immune system function and protect against certain forms of cancer.