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It’s National Coffee Day, and as your Optometrists, we say “drink up!”

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Coffee has been shown to help in the prevention of deteriorating eyesight and possible blindness from retinal degeneration due to glaucoma, aging and diabetes. According to a study by Cornell University, coffee contains 7% to 9% chlorogenic acid, a strong antioxidant that prevents retinal degeneration in mice.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry states, “The retina is a thin tissue layer on the inside, back wall of the eye with millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. It is also one of the most metabolically active tissues, demanding high levels of oxygen and making it prone to oxidative stress. The lack of oxygen and production of free radicals leads to tissue damage and loss of sight.”

In the study, mice eyes were treated with nitric oxide, which creates oxidative stress and free radicals, leading to retinal degeneration, but mice pretreated with CLA developed no retinal damage.

​The study is “important in understanding functional foods, that is, natural foods that provide beneficial health effects,” Chang Lee, professor of food science and the study’s senior author, said in a statement. “Coffee is the most popular drink in the world, and we are understanding what benefit we can get from that.”

Coffee has also been shown to cut the risk of such chronic diseases as Parkinson’s, prostate cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive declines. Our Reno optometrists recommend going out and visiting one of the many amazing locally owned coffee shops in Reno Tahoe, and enjoy a cup of Joe!

Written by Daniel Rowan

Reno optometrist, Dr. Daniel Rowan, was raised in Western Canada and attended Norwich University in Vermont on a hockey scholarship. After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in both biology and sports medicine, he received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree from the New York College of Optometry in 2001. He performed rotations in a Queens VA hospital, specializing in glaucoma care, and an outpatient eye clinic in the Bronx. Immediately after graduating, he moved to Nevada and is now considered a top Reno optometrist. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and is board-certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry for the treatment and management of ocular diseases.
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