Do you drink Earl Grey tea over the morning paper … green tea to energize your day … or chamomile tea to help you fall asleep?
Then you may be doing your brain a great service.
A new study from the National University of Singapore found a cup of tea a day can keep dementia away. Especially for those who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease.
|Credit: Flickr.com user Pouring tea|
The longitudinal study took place over seven years. It involved 957 Chinese seniors (age 55 years or older).
Researchers also collected information about these seniors’ lifestyles and medical conditions. They even tracked their physical and social activities. Those factors were carefully controlled in statistical models to ensure an accurate study.
The researchers found that regular tea-drinkers lowered their risk of cognitive decline in their later years by 50%.
There is even-better news for tea-drinkers who are genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer’s disease. They could see a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%.
Along with these groundbreaking statistics, the research also noted that the type of tea consumed didn’t matter.
The only requirement was that the tea must be brewed from leaves, like green or black tea.
As lead researcher Feng Lei, an assistant professor in Singapore University’s department of psychological medicine, explained:
While the study was conducted on Chinese elderly, the results could apply to other races as well. Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention.
Despite high-quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory.
Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. The data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea-drinking can reduce a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life.
Lei and his team believe these health benefits come from bioactive compounds in tea. That includes:
Catechins (antioxidants, like the kind you find in chocolate)
Theaflavins and Thearubigins (these antioxidants give black and oolong teas their color and scent)
L-Theanine (an amino acid that can increase alpha brain wave activity to promote relaxation and mental alertness)
Each of these compounds in tea exhibit potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration.
And that’s all just from a single cup of tea a day!
Related story: The Ancient Fat-burning Tea You Need to Start Drinking
If you already drink tea, then you should feel very good about this healthy habit.
If you’re not currently a tea drinker, do these new findings spark any interest in starting?
Whether you already drink tea or not, I would love to know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Happy and healthy investing,
L. Feng, M. -S. Chong, W. -S. Lim, Q. Gao, M. S. Z. Nyunt, T. -S. Lee, S. L. Collinson, T. Tsoi, E. -H. Kua, T. -P. Ng. Tea consumption reduces the incidence of neurocognitive disorders: Findings from the Singapore longitudinal aging study. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 2016; 20 (10): 1002 DOI: 10.1007/s12603-016-0687-0