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Caffeine may be effective in protecting the lens against damage that could lead to the formation of cataracts, according to a study presented on May 4 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." Additional research to determine the pharmacological significance of this study is underway.

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 80 countries. ARVO encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology.

Source: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

Source: Medical News Today