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October 2018 (Vol. 3 Issue 8)

An espresso a day protects against eyesight loss
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

An espresso a day protects against eyesight loss image

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness and sight loss as we get older, but older people who drink a shot of coffee every day reduce their risk by a third.

Caffeine seems to protect against sight loss, researchers have discovered for the first time. Older people who are drinking around 78 mg of caffeine—or one espresso shot—are far less likely to develop AMD.

As well as caffeine, eating plenty of fruit every day also seems to reduce the risk, say researchers from the University of Coimbra in Portugal, who tracked the health and diet of 883 people aged 55 and older. Around half of them had early-stage AMD.

Those who ate around 150 grams (five ounces) of fruit a day were 15 per cent less likely to have AMD, and that protective effect increased if they were also drinking caffeine. Around 54 per cent of the non-AMD group was drinking the equivalent of one shot of espresso a day compared to 45 per cent among those who already had AMD.

Caffeine is a powerful antioxidant that also protects against Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers say.

The findings are a “stepping stone towards effective preventive medicine in AMD,” said lead researcher Rufino Silva.


References

(Source: Proceedings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, October 17, 2016)

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