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New evidence that green tea may help fight glaucoma and other eye diseases

Date:
February 20, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea -- renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties -- do penetrate into tissues of the eye. Their new report, the first documenting how the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, raises the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases.

Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea -- renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties -- do penetrate into tissues of the eye.
Credit: iStockphoto/Tjasa Maticic

Scientists have confirmed that the healthful substances found in green tea -- renowned for their powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties -- do penetrate into tissues of the eye. Their new report, the first documenting how the lens, retina, and other eye tissues absorb these substances, raises the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases.

It appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Chi Pui Pang and colleagues point out that so-called green tea "catechins" have been among a number of antioxidants thought capable of protecting the eye. Those include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Until now, however, nobody knew if the catechins in green tea actually passed from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye.

Pang and his colleagues resolved that uncertainty in experiments with laboratory rats that drank green tea. Analysis of eye tissues showed beyond a doubt that eye structures absorbed significant amounts of individual catechins. The retina, for example, absorbed the highest levels of gallocatechin, while the aqueous humor tended to absorb epigallocatechin. The effects of green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress in the eye lasted for up to 20 hours. "Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress," the report concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chu et al. Green Tea Catechins and Their Oxidative Protection in the Rat Eye. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (3): 1523 DOI: 10.1021/jf9032602

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New evidence that green tea may help fight glaucoma and other eye diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218125520.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, February 20). New evidence that green tea may help fight glaucoma and other eye diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218125520.htm
American Chemical Society. "New evidence that green tea may help fight glaucoma and other eye diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218125520.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

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