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A cup of tea every day could keep your brain healthy and shield against dementia

9Coach logo 9Coach 17/03/2017 Sam Downing
Good news if you’re that person who can’t make it through the afternoon without a good cuppa. © Getty Images Good news if you’re that person who can’t make it through the afternoon without a good cuppa.

If you’re that person who can’t make it through the afternoon without a good cuppa, you’re more likely to stay sharp into old age: new research suggests a daily cup of tea keeps older people’s brains healthy and protects against dementia.

A National University of Singapore study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging determined that drinking tea reduces the risk of cognitive impairment in older persons by 50 per cent and as much as 86 per cent for those who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s.

“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,” boasted Assistant Professor Feng Lei, who led the study.

Assistant Professor Feng and his team reached their conclusion by studying 957 Chinese people aged 55 years or older over a period of two years, though he said the results could apply to people of all ethnicities.

That’s good news because, in his words, “effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory”.

Sorry, herbal aficionados: the research finding is limited strictly to tea brewed from tea leaves, such as black, green or oolong tea.

Assistant Professor Feng credited tea’s brain-boosting powers to compounds in tea leaves — catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine — which hold anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties powers.

He added that more research is needed to pin down exactly how tea protects the brain.


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