Caffeine may provide the lens protection against damage that could lead to the formation of cataracts, according to a new study.
The study has been presented at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD hypothesized that caffeine may inhibit the intraocular generation of reactive oxygen species in the lens and consequent damage to the tissue.
The team studied the oxyradical effects in vitro by incubating mice lenses in medium exposed UVA in the presence of kynurenine with and without caffeine. In vivo studies were conducted in rats by incorporating caffeine with galactose in their diet. In both cases, caffeine was found to be effective in protecting the lens against damage.
As reported in the abstract, "These effects of caffeine have not been reported before and are hence considered highly interesting in view of its relatively high content in widely consumed beverages."