February 19, 2010
WASHINGTONHealthful substances found in green tea penetrate into tissues of the eye and raises the possibility that green tea may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases, according to a new report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The report is the first to document how the lens, retina and other eye tissues absorb these substances.
Researchers point out green tea catechins have been among a number of antioxidants thought capable of protecting the eye. Those include vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin; however, until now nobody knew if the catechins in green tea actually passed from the stomach and gastrointestinal tract into the tissues of the eye.
Researches conducted experiments with laboratory rats that drank green tea. Analysis of eye tissues showed beyond a doubt that eye structures absorbed significant amounts of individual catechins. The retina absorbed the highest levels of gallocatechin, while the aqueous humor tended to absorb epigallocatechin. The effects of green tea catechins in reducing harmful oxidative stress in the eye lasted for up to 20 hours.
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