A new study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore discovered positive health benefits that consumers can gain from drinking tea regularly.
The study revealed that, compared with those who don’t drink tea, regular tea drinkers showed better cognitive function and better overall brain health.
“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,” said researcher Feng Lei.
Powerful effects of tea
While the researchers’ previous study showed how tea can improve consumers’ cognitive abilities, Lei and his team wanted to see how drinking tea regularly was affecting consumers’ brain function.
All study participants were at least 60 years old, and the researchers analyzed their brain health using MRI scans. Participants reported on their own diet, physical activity, and other health-related information.
At the end of the three-year study, the researchers learned that tea has a powerful effect on the human brain and can keep consumers’ sharp into later life. Those who were drinking tea at least four times per week had more promising brain scans than those who didn’t drink tea, as their neural pathways were operating more efficiently than non-tea drinkers.
“Take the analogy of road traffic as an example -- consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads,” Feng said. “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.”
While consumers have several tea options to choose from, in this study, the ones that produced the best results were oolong tea, black tea, and green tea.
“We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers,” said Feng. “Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”
Tea can help in other ways, too
A recent study revealed the powers of green tea, finding that the popular drink can help consumers fight obesity.
In a study conducted on mice, the researchers found that green tea was instrumental in cutting down inflammation in the intestines and fat tissues. Ultimately, the mice exposed to the beverage gained less weight over time.
“Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and we know that just telling people to eat less and exercise more isn’t working,” said researcher Richard Bruno. “It’s important to establish complementary health-promoting approaches that can prevent obesity and related problems.”