New data from American Academy of Ophthalmology shows that coffee and other caffeinated beverages may assist in the prevention and delay of cataract development. The alkaloids found in coffee and tea have a direct beneficial affect on the eye's natural lens.
Over time, the UV rays that are found in natural sunlight generate harmful compounds within the eye called free radicals. This damage to the eye can eventually lead to the development of cataracts. Caffeine helps to combat the production of free radicals.
Researchers at the University of Maryland in Baltimore were interested in caffeine's effect on the formation of cataracts over time. They conducted an experiment where two groups of lab mice were exposed to UV light, one group as a control, and the other having had caffeine added to the lens within their eyes.
They concluded that caffeine helps the lens remain healthy and counteracts cataract-causing UV effects. The results still require further testing, specifically in humans, but as of now, the researchers hope one day to develop eye drops consisting of the caffeine’s lens-protective alkaloids.
Until then, your favorite cup of coffee or tea may be doing more for your eyes than just opening them in the early morning.