Researchers build on previous work that has suggested that there are benefits of tea on brain health.
Drinking tea has been a cultural pastime since antiquity.
Interest in the benefits of tea on brain health has developed in recent years in the field of psychology. So far, researchers have found an association between tea drinking and mood improvement and also benefits to the cardiovascular system.
A group of researchers from the National University of Singapore took the research to the next level by exploring the effect of regular tea drinking on brain function.
The results were published in Aging.
In this new study, patients were required to undergo psychological tests as well as MRI. The MRI helped researchers look at the connectivity between different regions of the brain, and see how information is processed.
Comparisons could be made in the efficiency and organization of processing of information between patients who were regular tea drinkers with those who were not.
The results from 36 tea drinkers, aged 60 years old and over, who had taken tea at least 4 times a week for the past 25 years, showed that their brain regions were more interconnected in a more efficient way than a control group of patients who did not drink tea.
The lead researcher likens this efficiency to traveling in a car by road to a certain destination. The most efficient route is the most direct route that uses the least resources.
The particular tea that was taken by the patients was black tea, oolong, or green tea.
The researchers concluded that drinking tea is effective in preventing cognitive decline and that drinking tea may be a simple lifestyle choice that benefits brain health.
Written by Nicola Cribb, MA VetMB DVSc DipACVS
Li J, Romero-Garcia R, Suckling J, Feng L. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging. 2019, Vol11,No11.
Study led by NUS scientists shows that drinking tea improves brain health. EurekALert! https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-09/nuos-slb091219.php. Last accessed: September 13, 2019.
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