A study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and published in Science Daily has revealed drinking tea regularly could improve the brain leading to a healthier cognitive function.
The Singaporean researchers made the findings after examining neuroimaging data of 36 adults.T
The research was carried out in collaboration with researchers from the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge.
The team leader, Assistant Professor Feng Lei, speaking on the findings said, “Our results offer the first evidence of the positive contribution of tea drinking to the brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organization,”
Previous studies had reiterated the benefits of tea intake as it could improve mood and prevent cardiovascular disease.
This new research is a continuation of a 2017 study by Assistant Professor Feng which revealed daily consumption of tea can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older persons by 50 percent.
3 adults aged 60 and above were recruited by the research team and data about their health, lifestyle and psychological wellbeing were examined.
The participants were also made to undergo neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.
After examining the participant’s cognitive performance and imaging results, researchers discovered those that consumed either green tea, oolong tea or black tea for at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected i a more efficient way.
“Take the analogy of road traffic as an example — consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads. When a road system is better organized, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses fewer resources. Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently,” explained Asst Prof Feng.
He added, “We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had a better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organization brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”