Its origins date back to 2737 B.C. in the Far East when the Chinese Emperor Shennong mistakenly drank water with a dead tea leaf boiled inside. Fast forward to today and people all over the world enjoy green tea as part of their diet, benefiting from the list of potential health benefits in the process. Now, new research shows that green tea may also help reduce blood sugar and gut inflammation. According to the study, published in Current Developments in Nutrition, people who regularly consume green tea have lower fasting blood sugar levels than their peers who don't. Furthermore, green tea extract was also found to decrease gut inflammation, highlighted by a decrease in stool inflammatory proteins. Senior study co-author Richard Bruno, PhD, a professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, said the study showed positive results after just one month. “What this tells us is that within one month we’re able to lower blood glucose in both people with metabolic syndrome and healthy people, and the lowering of blood glucose appears to be related to decreasing leaky gut and decreasing gut inflammation — regardless of health status,” he said in a statement. “This could be a simple yet powerful intervention for people with metabolic syndrome or those at risk for it. It could be a therapy to start while we continue to promote healthy lifestyle changes,” said Olivia Vaughn, a registered dietitian nutritionist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. *Image by Mirko Stödter from Pixabay
Are 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.