Green tea helps prevent eye disease

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

London: Green tea has always been known for its antioxidant effects and disease fighting properties, but now researchers say the benefits could help the eyes.

The report, the first to study how the lens, retina and other eye tissues absorb these substances, suggests that the drink may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases, reports

Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Chi Pui Pang and colleagues say that "catechins", a type of antioxidant found in green tea, can pass from the stomach to tissues in the eye.

Catechins include vitamin C, vitamin E and it had not been known whether they could aid vision.

But the researchers at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Eye Hospital, experimenting on rats, found that the rodents given the tea showed their eyes benefiting from the catechins.

The team concluded: "Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress".