Drinking a Cup of Tea Daily May Cut Dementia Risk

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, excluding water. High in antioxidants and low in caffeine, this aromatic beverage has been lauded for an array of potential health benefits, ranging from protecting our teeth and our heart to helping with weight loss and preventing bone loss.

Now, recent scientific research has given us fresh reason to sip a cup of tea everyday. Drinking just one cup of tea daily may substantially lower the risk of dementia, the study finds.

Daily cup of tea can reduce the risk of dementia by a whopping 50 percent, and people who are genetically predisposed to the debilitating disease can benefit the most, claim scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Consuming the popular beverage reduces those people’s chance of developing toxic clumps in their brain who are carrying the gene of dementia can slash their likelihood of developing toxic clumps in their brain by as much as 86 percent.

To reach their findings, the NUS scientists assessed the tea intake of 957 Chinese seniors
over the age of 55 for a period of 12 years. For the research, the investigators assessed participants after every two years on their cognitive function using standardised tools. They also collected data on their lifestyles, medical conditions and physical activities.

They found that long-term tea consumption leads to the accumulation of powerful antioxidants in the body that boost cognitive function.

“These may help to protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration,” said lead researcher Dr Feng Lei. “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,” Lei added.

According to the researchers, whether you drink a green tea or black tea, compounds in the tea leaves such as catechins and theaflavins confer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
“While the study was conducted on Chinese elderly, the results could apply to other races as well,” said Assistant Professor Feng Lei from NUS.

“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,” said Lei.

The NUS study comes on the heels of a study released in November that claimed three cups of coffee a day can keep dementia at bay.

The current study findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.