Saturday, March 6, 2010

Green Tea Benefits - Effects on Eye Disease Prevention

Is there any condition that green tea won't benefit? In recent news, green tea consumption has been shown to help with glaucoma prevention. A study done by the University of Hong Kong tested the beverage on rats to observe the effects of the antioxidants on their eyes. The results indicated that, for up to 20 hours after green tea consumption, the antioxidants still had an effect of reducing oxidative stress on the eye. While, for humans, this may come as a result of drinking four or more cups per day, these benefits compound to those offered to weight loss, depression, and cancer prevention.

The study done by the University of Hong Kong consists of several rats being fed green tea overtime. Although the form of the tea - either in pill or liquid - isn't known, the antioxidant compounds in it appeared to reduce the oxidative stress in the rats' eyes during a period of 20 hours after consumption. More specifically, the catechins were found to be absorbed by several parts of the eye. The retina, for example, absorbed a large amount of gallocatechins, while the aqueous humor absorbed mostly epigallocatechins.

When applied to humans, this study indicates that the consumption of green tea can help prevent eye diseases like glaucoma that result from the oxidation of eye tissues. Essentially, as shown by the study, the eyes absorb the catechins - the antioxidants - found in the beverage. The effects aren't permanent, however. As the study indicates, the absorption of the catechins lasts for up to 20 hours. While this may be the entire time a person is awake and active, he or she will need to consume a few cups of tea the next morning - and every morning after - to continue receiving the same benefits.

Why is green the only type of tea that appears to have significant health benefits? Out of the three types, white tea hasn't been studied as often, although the antioxidants are higher, and black tea has been processed too much. Generally, teas keep more antioxidants with less processing. Because green tea is consumed more in parts of the world, its effects have been studied regularly for nearly 20 years.

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