Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.
“Because of the high rates of tea consumption by the global population, even small effects of this daily habit on an individual could have a large impact on public health,” observe authors Yasutake Tomata of Tohoku University and colleagues.
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The study included 13,645 participants in the Ohsaki cohort 2006 study that enrolled men and women aged 65 years and older residing in Ohsaki City. Surveys completed upon enrollment included questions regarding average consumption of tea in addition to various food items. Subjects were also queried concerning current psychological distress, motor function, subjective memory complaints and other factors. The group was followed from April 2007 until the end of November 2012, during which 8.7% developed dementia.
Subjects who consumed high amounts of green tea were likelier to be women and to be nonsmokers. Compared with those who consumed less than one cup per day, those who consumed three to four cups had a 16% lower adjusted risk of dementia and subjects who consumed more than five cups had a 24% lower risk. Limiting the analysis to those who did not report memory complaints upon enrollment failed to substantially affect the results.
While nonsignificant protective effects for oolong and black tea were observed, the stronger effects found for green tea suggest that its high epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) content could be responsible for the neuroprotective benefit uncovered in this study.
“This study has shown that green tea consumption is associated with a decreased risk of incident dementia in Japanese elderly individuals,” the authors conclude. “This suggests that green tea consumption may have a preventive effect against dementia.”