Antioxidant in Coffee May Help Prevent Eyesight Diseases

July 9, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. eyesight /ˈaɪˌsaɪt/ (n.) – the ability to see
Example: I wear glasses because I have bad eyesight.

2. degeneration /dɪˌdʒɛnəˈreɪʃən/ (n.) – process of losing one’s function
Example: Doing nothing everyday may lead to muscle degeneration.

3. pretreat /priˈtrit(v.) – to apply a primary treatment or chemical in advance
Example: Scientists pretreated some of the samples with antibacterial medication.

4. deoxygenated /diˈɒksɪdʒəˌneɪtɪd/ (adj.) – lacking oxygen
Example: We cannot breathe deoxygenated air.

5. absorb /æbˈsɔrb, -ˈzɔrb/ (v.) – to take in something
Example: His body fully absorbed the vitamins during the treatment.


Read the text below.
A joint study from the U.S. and South Korea suggests that an antioxidant found in coffee promotes healthier eyesight and prevents the development of eye diseases caused by aging.

According to researchers, an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid (or CLA) found in coffee beans may be used to effectively prevent retinal degeneration.

To determine the effects of CLA on eyesight, researchers gathered mice as sample for the study. Some of the mice were pretreated with CLA, while some were not. The researchers then injected nitric oxide [NAHY-trik OK-sahyd, -sid] on all of the mice. The nitric oxide gave oxidative [ok-si-DEY-tiv] stress and produced free radicals, causing instant retinal degeneration.

As shown in the experiment, CLA proved to be a significant factor in preventing retinal degeneration among the mice. In fact, the mice that had CLA in their system showed no sign of retinal damage.

The retina is responsible for organizing visual information and is one of the most active tissues in the human eye. It depends highly on oxygen to sustain its activities. When this tissue becomes deoxygenated, retinal diseases may occur.

Despite this scientific evidence, researchers still need to determine if the effects of CLA on eyesight can be fully absorbed just by drinking coffee. Nonetheless, the researchers named some possible options to make use of the antioxidant, such as producing CLA eye drops and coffee specially brewed for retinal support.

The benefits of coffee isn’t limited to the eyesight. According to a study published in the journal of European Association for the Study of Diabetes, people who drink at least three cups of coffee daily had the lowest risk of having Type 2 Diabetes.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Are you more interested in drinking coffee after reading this article? Why or why not?
·         How do you think this finding will affect the coffee industry in the future? Kindly discuss.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the risks of drinking too much coffee?
·         What other drinks with great health benefits do you know of? Kindly discuss. 

July 9, 2014