Drinking Tea May Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline by 50%

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,
Brad


Journal Reference:
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

Your thoughts on “Drinking Tea May Lower Risk of Cognitive Decline by 50%”

  1. I did see a question on decafe and ice tea being beneficial. But I didn’t see your response. Can please answer the question?

  2. Hi Brad,

    I have read similar results about antioxidants in coffee over the last few years.

    John C.

  3. Thank you for sharing this article! Tea Aids in digestion and relaxation (in my experience).

  4. I appreciate the article and the comments others have added. I’ve been drinking tea as per doctor’s recommendation to relieve pain from inflamed tendons and it sure works for me. I use decaffeinated green tea in tea bags. But I sure can forget things anyway, especially after a concussion 7 years ago. I can’t take much caffeine or I start to shake.

  5. Tea has it’s benefits, however it will not cure the gut that leaks protein to the brain causing dementia in the genetically susceptible. See this web site for more on the Brain / Gut causing Dementia study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588083/ Protein build up in the Brain (increased intestinal permeability) can take 5 years or more to cause enough blockage to neural conductivity before we see the first symptoms of Dementia. So, my take on this, take a good quality Probiotic, one that comes directly from a manufacturer. Do it YEARS before the first symptoms. Heal the Gut, heal the body as mentioned in one of your previous articles regarding how Probiotics May Defeat Allergies. China sells Tea, that’s a good reason to do studies.

  6. Hi Brad,
    I have regularly had a cup of tea every morning for years. Additionally, only using local honey as a sweetener makes a difference for me. I imagine iced tea has similar benefits, too. And, beleieve it, or not, a cup of coffee….just one….before bed does the trick. Solid sleep and solid mind.

  7. Need clarification. Will tea from tea bags work, or does it have to be from fresh leaves.
    If so, where to find?

  8. Brad-
    This is a very interesting study. You state that the self-selected tea drinkers were carefully matched with the non-tea drinkers and that the sample was studied for about seven years.
    I am curious to know what the differences in their life-styles were prior to the study :e.g., were they living in different locations?; were family histories matched for medical/genetic similarities?; were their diets well matched?
    Very often the studies state the control groups were “matched”, but unless you know more details you can’t always assume this.
    Thanks for sharing this in any case.
    Stephen Safran, PhD (psychology)

  9. Nice article that I will share!
    I am 65 and have had tea literally every day for 59 years since started for me by my live-in Irish Grandmother when I had Rheumatic Fever at age 6.
    Earl Grey is my favorite though I start the day with 1 cup of green, then I leave that bag in and add Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast or even Lady Grey, and similar, for the next one.
    I love the smell of coffee being ground but don’t like it at all to drink. At holidays I’ll have Kahlua with egg nog sometimes…go figure… 😉
    I may have many cups of tea in a day, rather drink it than most anything else.
    I’ve read an interesting book, the title I do not recall for certain though it may be; How tea saved the world. The premise is that to have tea one had to boil water… This act alone improved health and increased lifespans. Sounds plausible…no? I’ll buy it. 🙂
    Though 65 almost no one ever guesses me to be older than 55 and often younger. Much of that credit surely first goes my Grandmother, 🙂 then never smoking, no beer and little to no liquor use.
    I feel pretty dang good though have kinks and pains as expected at 65.
    I’m mentally active and I take Ginkgo Biloba every day as well as other vitamins but I doubt I’d be as I am without a lifetime of tea.
    Thank you.

  10. DEAR BRAD, TODAY YOUR PUBLICATION ABOUT ” DRINKING TEA…” INTEREST ME MUCH , BECAUSE THE TEA FROM HERBS AND DRINKING OF TEA FROM HERBS IS MY LIFE, LIVE…ALL. I AM FROM BULGARIA. THIS COUNTRY IS FIRST ON NUMBER OF HERBS , BECAUSE BULGARIA HAVE THE MONTAGNS FROM ALPEN TIPES. SECOUND COUNTRY IS SWIZERRA. BUT IN BULGARIA NOT HAVE FAMILLY WHERE NOT COLLECT THE HERBS EVERY YEARS. IN BULGARIA HAVE THE ENERGHETIC TRIANGOLO AND FOR THIS THE HERBS HAVE MUCH BIG POSITIVE ENERGETIC. HERE IS THE STUDING OF OUR BIG PROFESSORE D-R. PETAR DANOV-” WHAITE BROTHERS” THIS STUDING IS ALSO AND IN USA BEFORE 80 YEARS.IF YOU HAVE INTERES TO THIS FACTS COMME IN BULGARIA AND YOU WILL LEARN MUCH FOR THIS TEMA. I AM OPER SINGER AND I DRINKING ONLY TEA FROM HERBS IN ALL OUR MY LIFE.BEFORE 2 YEARS I DRINKING ONLY HERBS TEA…ABOUT THIS TEMA MUST TO SPEAC MORE MUCH, BUT ALL KNOWLEGE COST MONEY!I WISH ONE GOOD WEEKEND!!DATA-25.03.2017-YEARS-BREMEN-GERMANY

  11. We often appreciate the information in your letters. Today’s article about tea as well, – except for the misleading mentioning of chamomile at the beginning. Chamomile is not a tea. It is not made from leaves. Thus probably not with the benefits your article mentions.

    Sincerely

  12. Interesting article. Tea may be a bit of a contradiction as far as brain effects in that most teas are high in fluoride, especially the cheaper ones, which are made from leaves that are lower on the plant and have therefore accumulated more. It may be that the beneficial effects of the other things in just one cup outweigh the negatives from more fluoride. We need to isolate the substances you mention and see if it is one in particular that is having the effect.

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