New research indicates that a “cuppa” tea per day can help stave off dementia later in life, especially for people who are genetically at-risk for the disease. This is according to a recently published study from Assistant Professor Feng Lei of National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo School of Medicine.
The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging in December 2016, found that a daily cup of tea lowers the risk of dementia in elderly people by 50%. Those who carry the APOE e4 gene (the gene that marks people as “at risk” for dementia) may receive an 86% reduction of risk of future mental impairment, thanks to their daily cups of tea .
Is Black Tea or Green Tea Better For You?
Associate Professor Feng and his team began by collecting information on nearly 1000 seniors aged 55 and older beginning in 2003. Every two years, the participants were evaluated on their mental function using standardized tools. Information on lifestyle, activities, medical condition, and other factors (down to choice of tea) were also evaluated to ensure accuracy.
The best news for tea lovers? The research notes that the type of tea consumed by tea drinkers doesn’t matter, once it comes from tea leaves. The researchers believe that the naturally occurring chemicals in tea leaves, such as theaflavins, catechins, and L-Theanine, are probably the effective ingredients at work here, so the most common teas, such as black tea and green tea, (and shameless plug: all the teas that LiviTeas currently sells) are, statistically speaking, the most effective dementia-fighters. Other teas, such as fruit-based teas, may not be as effective against dementia.
Isn’t It Ironic?
Associate Professor Feng notes the irony that even with the expense and extent of medical and medicinal research today, something as simple as tea may be a major weapon in fighting dementia. “Despite high quality drug trials, effective therapy (for dementia) remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory. Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. …our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person’s risk of (dementia) in late life” says Asst. Professor Feng.
Associate Professor Feng and his research team are planning to continue their studies on diet, mental health, and aging. They also would like to extend their research to find out exactly which of the natural chemicals in tea may have been responsible for the positive mental health conditions in study participants.
So next time you’re enjoying your morning or afternoon cup of tea, drink to the fact that you are literally drinking to a long life and good health, and pat yourself on the back for thinking ahead. Cheers!