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A new study on patients 65 and older found that those who regularly drank tea exhibited a lower level of cognitive decline. These findings were presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease.
The population-based study, which tracked more than 4800 Americans for up to 14 years, found that compared to those who did not drink tea, regular tea drinkers had 17 to 37% less cognitive decline. Results were determined by food frequency questionnaires and the Mini-Mental State Examination.
The study also tracked coffee drinkers and found that drinking coffee regularly had no effect on cognitive decline. (Those who drank the highest level of coffee, however, did see a 20% decrease in 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,” said Lenore Arab, PhD, who led the study. (Arab is a professor at the departments of medicine and biological chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.)
“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,” stated Arab.
The study was supported by the Lipton Institute of Tea.