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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Tea could be good for your brain

Not just your thirst.

Image: Shutterstock/Guzel Gashigullina

DRINKING TEA DOESN’T just quench your thirst.

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) say that tea drinking could help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in older persons by 50% and as much as 86% for those who are genetically at risk of Alzheimer’s.

The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50%, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%.

The research team also discovered that the neuroprotective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not limited to a particular type of tea — so long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.

“While the study was conducted on Chinese elderly, the results could apply to other races as well. Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention. Despite high quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory.”

In this study, tea consumption information was collected from the participants, who are community-living elderly, from 2003 to 2005. At regular intervals of two years, these seniors were assessed on their cognitive function using standardised tools until 2010. Information on lifestyles, medical conditions, physical and social activities were also collected.

Those potential confounding factors were carefully controlled in statistical models to ensure the robustness of the findings.

The research team published their findings in scientific journal The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging in December 2016.

Read: Legendary US blog Boing Boing has written a glowing review of Barry’s Tea

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