Tuesday, 17 September 2019

‘Drinking cup of tea daily helps protect brain against age-related decline’

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Research has suggested that drinking tea could be good for your brain and stave off age-related decline.

Scientists now say regularly consuming a brew could be a simple lifestyle choice that benefits brain health.

Three dozen adults who were all aged 60 or above were asked to take part in a range of cognitive tests for the study.

Researchers led by a team based at the National University of Singapore also took MRI scans of the volunteers.

All of the participants, from Singapore, were also asked about how often they drink green, black or oolong tea, as well as coffee.

Results showed participants who drank tea at least four times a week for around 25 years had more connected brains.

Dr Feng Lei, lead researcher, said: “Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure.’

He added they also ‘suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation.”

Dr Lei said: “Take the analogy of road traffic as an example - consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads.

“When a road system is better organised, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources.

“Similarly, when connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently.”

The study, which also involved a team from the universities of Cambridge and Essex, was published in the scientific journal, Aging.

The research is believed to have been the first of its kind, with no other studies having examined the effect of tea on brain networks.

Britain consumes around 100 million cups of tea each day. It is considered to be the world’s most popular drink, behind only water.

However, statistics suggest 98 per cent of Brits drink their tea with milk.

It is not the first time scientists have found benefits from drinking tea – studies have suggested it can ward off type 2 Diabetes and help you live longer.

German researchers last year credited polyphenols inside tea for helping to combat ‘internal stress’, as long as they are taken alongside a zinc supplement.

In 2017, one study suggested tea can smooth out spikes in blood sugar levels. Another suggested tea drinkers were less likely to get cognitive impairment.

The latter, also carried out by Dr Lei and colleagues, speculated that green and black teas contain bioactive compounds that improve memory.

Dr Lei said: ‘Tea has been a popular beverage since antiquity, with records referring to consumption dating back to… approximately 2700 BC, in China.

‘Tea is consumed in diverse ways, with brewed tea and products with a tea ingredient extremely prevalent in Asia, especially in China and Japan.

He added: ‘A large number of studies have suggested the reduction of inter-regional connectivity is associated with brain ageing.

‘Our study suggests tea drinking is effective in preventing or ameliorating cognitive decline and tea drinking might be a simple lifestyle choice that benefits brain health.’

– Mail Online

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