While coffee is also packed with helpful antioxidants, “people age 65 or older who drank tea regularly had 17-37% less cognitive decline compared with people who did not drink tea.” (Source: prnewswire.com)
The findings from this study, which followed more than 4,800 Americans ages 65 and up for up to 14 years, were presented at the 2010 Alzheimer’s Association's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease. Researchers examined the cognitive abilities of the participants to determine if there was a relationship to the participant’s intake of coffee and tea.
“Results showed that cognitive decline was statistically significantly lower (17 to 37 percent) among regular tea drinkers, even after adjusting for confounding factors that may affect cognitive function, such as age, education, smoking status, and medical history.”
It may be important to note that the sponsor of this study was the Lipton Institute of Tea operated by Unilever, owner of the Lipton brand of teas. The Institute was organized to study the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea on behalf of the consumer goods corporation. But it also funds third-party and academic research studies, such as this one, which was conducted at UCLA in collaboration with the University of Washington.
Lead researcher Dr. Lenore Arab, PhD, of UCLA concluded:
“This study suggests a potential neuroprotective effect of tea consumption against cognitive decline. This neuroprotective effect of tea is unlikely related to caffeine since coffee, which has two to three times more caffeine than tea, did not have the same effect. The effect may be related to some other component in tea, such as flavonoids or perhaps theanine, however more research is required before a link can be confirmed."
New research like this adds credibility to the claims that many make, saying tea is one of the best natural health products you'll ever find (it's also very inexpensive). So the next time you're shopping at Swanson Health Products or your local natural products store, buy organic tea, brew up a cup and toast to your cognitive longevity.