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Drinking tea may lower the risk of cognitive decline

30/03/2017

Drinking tea may lower the risk of cognitive declineAre you partial to a nice cup of tea? If you are, it could be a habit that serves you well in the future as scientists have discovered that drinking tea can potentially lower a person's risk of cognitive decline by as much as 50%.

The study, the findings of which were published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, was led by Feng Lei from the Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

It involved 957 Chinese adults aged 55 and older, focussing on their tea consumption, including frequency, quantity and type.

All of the study participants underwent standard assessments designed to gauge their cognitive function.

The results showed that the individuals who drank tea regularly had a 50% lower risk of cognitive decline. Furthermore, adults with the APOE e4 gene - which is linked to a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease - and who also drank tea regularly, had an 86% lower risk of cognitive decline.

In addition, the scientists say that the greatest cognitive benefits were witnessed with tea that was brewed from tea leaves, such as green tea, black tea and oolong tea.

The source of the cognitive benefits is thought to lie in the bioactive compounds found in tea.

"These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration," Lei explains. "Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers."

More studies are now planned to further investigate the link between tea and cognitive function.
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