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Good news, coffee drinkers! Indulging in your morning ritual may protect you from retinal degeneration

by , 14 March 2017
Good news, coffee drinkers! Indulging in your morning ritual may protect you from retinal degeneration
Past research has linked drinking coffee to a decreased risk of chronic diseases including diabetes, age-related cognitive declines, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer.

Now, a new study by researchers at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in the USA have discovered yet another good reason to start every day with your beloved cup of java…

According to their study, which was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, drinking coffee may protect you from deteriorating eyesight - a very common age-related problem.

Raw coffee contains a strong antioxidant known as chlorogenic acid, which may protect against retinal degeneration

On average, raw coffee packs just 1% caffeine and 7% to 9% chlorogenic acid – a very powerful antioxidants
 
The researchers behind this new study observed the effects of chlorogenic acid in coffee on mice and found that it helped prevent retinal degeneration. They said that it’s likely that the chlorogenic acid in coffee would have the same effect on humans.
 
Your retina is the very thin layer on the back wall of your eye. It’s made up of millions of nerve cells and light-sensitive cells, which help you receive and organise visual information.

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The researchers explained that the retina is one of the most metabolically active tissues. It demands very high levels of oxygens, which makes it prone and sensitive to oxidative stress. When it doesn’t get enough oxygen, it often leads to the production of free radicals, which can ultimately cause tissue damage and loss of sight.
 
They noted that other common causes of retinal degeneration include ageing, diabetes and glaucoma – a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve and gets worse with time.
 

Experts say that this study should help us better understand functional foods

Chang Lee, the senior author of the study and a professor of food science, reported in a statement: “This study is important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects.”
 
“Coffee is the most popular drink in the world and we’re understanding what benefit we can get from that,” Lee added.
 
Anyone up for another cappuccino? We know we are!

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