Coffee drinkers, rejoice! Aside from java's energy jolt, food scientists say you may reap another health benefit from a daily cup of joe: prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging and diabetes.

Raw coffee is, on average, just 1 percent caffeine, but it contains 7 to 9 percent chlorogenic acid (CLA), a strong antioxidant that prevents retinal degeneration in mice, according to a Cornell study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (December 2013).

The retina is a thin tissue layer on the inside, back wall of the eye with millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. It is also one of the most metabolically active tissues, demanding high levels of oxygen and making it prone to oxidative stress. The lack of oxygen and production of free radicals leads to tissue damage and loss of sight.

In the study, mice eyes were treated with nitric oxide, which creates oxidative stress and free radicals, leading to retinal degeneration, but mice pretreated with CLA developed no retinal damage.

The study is "important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects," said Chang Y. Lee, professor of food science and the study's senior author. Holim Jang, a graduate student in Lee's lab, is the paper's lead author. Lee's lab has been working with Sang Hoon Jung, a researcher at the Functional Food Center of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. "Coffee is the most popular drink in the world, and we are understanding what benefit we can get from that," Lee said.

Previous studies have shown that coffee also cuts the risk of such chronic diseases as Parkinson's, prostate cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and age-related cognitive declines.

Since scientists know that CLA and its metabolites are absorbed in the human digestive system, the next step for this research is to determine whether drinking coffee facilitates CLA to cross a membrane known as the blood-retinal barrier. If drinking coffee proves to deliver CLA directly into the retina, doctors may one day recommend an appropriate brew to prevent retinal damage. Also, if future studies further prove CLA's efficacy, then synthetic compounds could also be developed and delivered with eye drops.

The Korea Institute of Science and Technology funded the study.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. The original article was written by Krishna Ramanujan. 

Journal Reference:

  1. Holim Jang, Hong Ryul Ahn, Hyoung Jo, Kyung-A Kim, Eun Ha Lee, Ki Won Lee, Sang Hoon Jung, Chang Y. Lee. Chlorogenic Acid and Coffee Prevent Hypoxia-Induced Retinal Degeneration. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014; 62 (1): 182 DOI: 10.1021/jf404285v

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140502213047.htm

Views: 3

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

Latest Activity

Joan Denoo replied to John Jubinsky's discussion Experimental Ebola Serum May Be In Use On Americans in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
10 minutes ago
Tom Sarbeck replied to Bertold Brautigan's discussion How can people be good without god?
10 minutes ago
Atheist in FundyLand posted a discussion
12 minutes ago
HPhan replied to John Jubinsky's discussion Hawking Says Higgs Boson Could Destroy the Universe in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
20 minutes ago
Chris G commented on Sylvain Duford's group Eco-Logical: A Group for Environmentalists
28 minutes ago
HPhan liked Sylvain Duford's group Eco-Logical: A Group for Environmentalists
30 minutes ago
HPhan joined Sylvain Duford's group
31 minutes ago
HPhan replied to Steph S.'s discussion Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
34 minutes ago
HPhan replied to John Jubinsky's discussion Experimental Ebola Serum May Be In Use On Americans in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
48 minutes ago
Justin Murray commented on Justin Murray's blog post The Argument from Incorporeality
50 minutes ago
HPhan replied to Luara's discussion A huge tragedy in our past in the group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
58 minutes ago
HPhan liked Dr. Terence Meaden's group ORIGINS: UNIVERSE, LIFE, HUMANKIND, AND DARWIN
1 hour ago

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service