Drinking as little as one to three cups a day helps older people’s brain function, according to a new study from Singapore.
The positive effects of tea drinking were particularly beneficial to woman, the study of 1,500 men and women revealed. And drinking more than four cups a day cut the odds of memory failing by three-quarters.
The study looked at the effects of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea and showed that just one to three cups of Ceylon tea a day had an effect, cutting the odds of cognitive decline by 43 per cent.
Anti-oxidant compounds in tea are thought to protect against the poisons that ravage the brain in Alzheimer’s.One plant chemical, theanine, is found only in tea and in mushrooms.
Experts in the US recently analysed several studies on the effect of caffeinated drinks on memory and mental alertness. The thousands of men and women who took part logged how often they drank tea or coffee and did a memory test that is used in the initial stages of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. They discovered that tea was more beneficial than coffee which has more caffeine.
In another study which tracked 4,000 Americans for almost eight years suggested tea to be of particular benefit to women.
The University of California researchers who reviewed the studies said the weaker results for coffee mean caffeine is unlikely to be responsible for the cognitive benefits.