Latte good for retinas

The CLA in coffee may help protect retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging and diabetes, according to a recent Cornell University study.

The world’s most popular drink just got another healthy feather in its caffeinated cap. A daily cup of joe may be just what we need to protect our retinas, according to a Cornell University study.

The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and noted on
While we know the caffeine in coffee is a marvelous thing that helps make the world go round, that ingredient was not the center of the research. Rather, the scientists looked at the chlorogenic acid (CLA), a potent antioxidant.
Scientists treated the eyes of mice with nitric oxide, which creates oxidative stress and free radicals, leading to retinal degeneration. Mice pretreated with CLA did not develop retinal damage.

The study is “important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects,” Chang Y. Lee, professor of food science and the study’s senior author, told the Cornell Chronicle. 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.

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.

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