Coffee may help your eye health! Researchers at Cornell University found that chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant found in coffee, prevents retinal degradation in mice. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry.
The retina is a thin tissue layer on the inside, back wall of the eye with millions of light-sensitive cells that receive and organize visual information. It also demands high levels of oxygen and is susceptible to oxidative stress. Lack of oxygen and production of free radicals (which antioxidants combat) can lead to tissue damage and loss of sight.
In the study, mice were treated with compounds to create stress and free radicals, and thus retinal degradation, but mice pretreated with chlorogenic acid developed no retinal damage. The study is important in understanding functional foods (natural foods that provide beneficial health effects).
If further studies continue to prove chlorogenic acid’s effectiveness, synthetic compounds may one day be developed to be delivered via eye drops!