A recent study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology reveals a possible link between hot tea consumption and a lower risk of developing glaucoma.
Researchers were looking for a link between glaucoma and coffee, tea and soda (both caffeinated and decaffeinated) and examined results of eye examinations from almost 1700 participants aged 40 and over. They also reviewed data from a 2005-2006 nationwide health study.
Researchers found that participants who consumed more than six cups of hot tea a week were 74% less likely to develop glaucoma when compared to those who did not drink hot tea. There didn't appear to be any relationship between decaf tea or iced tea or between caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. The study was limited because a lack of data on the type of tea consumed along with possible errors in diagnosis of glaucoma and the fact that only 84 of the participants had glaucoma.
While researchers acknowledge that it's not actually hot tea that deserves the credit for the reduced risk, they do admit that tea does contain many beneficial antioxidants that help fight inflammation and protect from cellular damage. Researchers stress the need for yearly eye exams and maintaining overall health to help prevent developing glaucoma.*