Tea compounds protect brain from neurodegeneration
Drinking tea decreases the risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, suggests a new study published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
Drink tea daily!
Daily consumption of tea has been linked with a lower risk of cognitive decline in the elderly population in a new study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Led by researcher Feng Lei from NUS, the team gleaned data from a group of 957 Chinese participants within the age group 55 and older. The results show that, with regular tea drinking, the risk of cognitive impairment is reduced by 50% generally, and this figure can extend to 86% for old people who are genetically predisposed for Alzheimer’s. The latter are carriers of the gene called APOE e4: they have a relatively greater likelihood of developing the neurodegenerative disease.
Type of tea that is beneficial
Now, the important question is, which type of tea shields our minds from dementia, and the likes? According to the researchers, any tea will do. As long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves (like black, oolong, or green tea), the neuroprotective aspect pertaining to cognition will be there.
Should you be Chinese to reap the benefits?
Another good news is that this beneficial effect could possibly apply to other races as well, and not just to the Chinese, says Feng. He also explains that their findings provide a simple and cheap “lifestyle measure” to decrease one’s risk of suffering from neurocognitive conditions in old age.
Tea is one of the most common beverages consumed throughout the world. Perhaps, a solution that can be easily applied by mostly everyone is more potent than medication; as Feng says, pharmacological therapy (for these disorders) that actually yield good results remains elusive, and the existing preventive methods are not as effective as one would have liked.
What are the secret ingredients in tea? According to Feng, the credit goes to the bioactive compounds present in tea leaves, namely catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins, and L-theanine, which might be protecting the vascular system and neurones of the brain from damage by displaying anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. More research is needed to gain a better understanding of the salubrious nature of these compounds.
Keep drinking tea!
Regardless of our knowledge of the exact pathway of these beneficial compounds, we should all keep sipping our tea daily, shouldn’t we?!