Scientists at Cornell University may have discovered another potential heath benefit in your daily dose of java: prevention of the loss of eyesight.
According to a study published by Cornell University in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, raw coffee contains seven to nine percent chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant that the scientists found prevents retinal degeneration in mice.
Chang Y. Lee, a professor of food science and the study’s senior author, said the findings are "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 are understanding what benefit we can get from that.”
The retina is a thin layer of tissue on the back of the eye that contains millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. It demands high levels of oxygen as it is one of the most metabolically active tissues. Without the proper amount of oxygen, the retina deteriorates over time, leading to blurry vision, glaucoma and even blindness.
Previous studies have shown that coffee cuts the risk of such chronic diseases as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well as prostate cancer and diabetes.