September 13, 2019. Research reported on June 14, 2019 in the journal Aging revealed a brain benefit in association with regular tea drinking.
“Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organization,” announced team leader Assistant Professor Feng Lei, of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Singapore’s Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
Acting on the results of previous research that found a reduction in the risk of cognitive decline among daily tea drinkers, the current study compared 15 tea drinkers aged 60 and older to 21 participants in the same age group who did not regularly consume tea. Neuropsychological tests evaluated cognitive function and magnetic resonance imaging assessed brain connectivity. Participants who regularly consumed tea had better organized brain regions and cognitive function compared to those who were not tea drinkers.
“Take the analogy of road traffic as an example – consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads,” Dr Feng Lei explained. “When a road system is better organized, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources. Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently.”
“We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers,” he added. “Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organization brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”
The authors concluded that “Tea drinking might be a simple lifestyle choice that benefits brain health.”