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Shambhu D Varma, Krish Chandrasekaran; Coffee (Caffeine) inhibits Cataract Formation in Humans. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):2499.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We have previously shown that caffeine prevents cataractogenesis induced by high sugar levels as well as by UV. It does so by scavenging reactive oxygen species as well as by providing a metabolic support. The purpose of the present study was to examine the possibility of a correlation between caffeine intake and the prevalence of human cataract.
Prevalence of blindness due to various eye diseases published by WHO was used to obtain information on contribution of cataracts. Data on cataract blindness was then grouped in five zones according to its prevalence. Per capita coffee consumption was obtained from the FAO http://www.griequity.com/resources/BusinessGuides/DemographicsData/energy/energy-resource) and other agricultural sources. Caffeine derived from the coffee consumed was calculated from its percentage composition (~1%).
The percentages of cataract blindness (Mean ±SD, N>6) were 55.25 ± 6.56, 51.68,± 6.51, 44.21±8.74, 26.28±4.39 and 5.21±0.75 in zones representing the African, American, Eastern Mediterranean , and Western and Eastern European regions. Caffeine consumption in the respective zones ranged from 0, 5.6±2.72, 34.28±21.94, 48.02±46.28, 213.83±61.58 (Mg/day). Thus there was an inverse correlation between the incidence of cataract blindness and caffeine intake, thus showing its statistically significant preventive effect; apparent also by regression analysis of the entire data (figure below).
The inverse correlation between the prevalence of cataract blindness and caffeine intake dependent on coffee drinking strongly suggests that this substance inhibits human cataract formation, in addition to its many other beneficial effects exerted against several neurological and cardiovascular complications, longevity and delaying the onset of diabetes. The results are in conformity with our previous studies showing its effectiveness in inhibiting cataract formation in the animal models.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
Inverse correlation between cataract blindness (%) and caffeine intake. Spearman’s rank order correlation coefficient. -0.89; P< 0.001; R2 = ~0. 8
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