That morning cup of joe may be good for something aside from lifting us out of a coma every morning. A Cornell University study reported Wednesday that a daily cup of coffee may prevent deteriorating eyesight.
The study describes how coffee contains the chemical compound chlorogenic acid (CLA), which makes up 7-9% of the drink versus only 1% of caffeine. CLA is an antioxidant that has proven to prevent retinal degeneration in mice.
The study was funded by The Korea Institute of Science and Technology and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. According to the Cornell Chronicle:
…the study examined the retina, a thin layer of complex tissue at the back of the eye that collects and arranges visual input. It describes how the tissue is some of the most metabolically active, needing high levels of oxygen, which can lead to oxidative stress. A lack of oxygen can make the body produce radicals, highly reactive molecules that can also lead to tissue damage and loss of sight.
Mice were treated with nitric oxide, which created oxidative stress and radicals, and found that mice who were treated with CLA did not develop retinal damage.