Drinking tea improves brain function in elderly people: Study

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
Older adult
Representational Image

A good cup of tea has always been a cornerstone of many over generations. Even though there has been many arguments over the benefits of drinking tea, a recent study has now discovered that people over the age of 85 who drink five cups of tea a day have more focus and a sustained attention span.

The pandemic has increased the concerns over elderly people, especially their mental health as depression is very common in older adults. Early studies have shown that genetic predisposition, socioeconomic status and relationships with family, living partners, and the community at large as the major causes of depressive disorder.

The study started in 2006 and it is continuing till date, with about 200 participants as they become centenarians and it has used data from the Newcastle University’s 85+ study, involving more than 1,000 people of the particular age group from Newcastle and North Tyneside region.

During the research, nurses collected information from participants by visiting their homes to complete a health assessment with questionnaires, measurements, function tests and a fasting blood test. Their goal is to look for evidence that drinking black tea protects against memory loss.

The results obtained have shown that more tea-drinking can significantly improve attention span, along with the ability to perform complex tasks (psychomotor speed). But the study showed no relation between drinking tea and overall memory function or a correlation between tea and execution of simple speed tasks.

Earlier studies have also proven that drinking tea has several health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol and may even aid in weight loss.

Dr. Edward Okello, who led the Human Nutrition Research Centre project at Newcastle University states that “The skills we see maintained in this group of the very old may not only be due to the compounds present in tea but may also be due to the rituals of making a pot of tea or sharing a chat over a cup of tea.”

Researchers have also suggested in the findings that black tea should be considered for old people in any diet that aims to improve attention and psychomotor speed.

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