Drinking 1 – 3 cups of green tea daily can reduce your odds of getting Alzheimer’s Disease by up to 50%!
At least that’s how many online pundits are misleadingly interpreting the results of a study that were recently published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
Summarization of the study results:
The study, from 2003 to 2005, tracked 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older. Researchers concluded those seniors who drank 1 – 3 cups of tea, brewed from actual tea leaves, had lower risk of cognitive decline by 50%.
And, people who are carriers of the gene APOE e4, which puts them genetically at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, daily tea sipping could reduce their odds of cognitive impairment by 86%.
When you link this news with findings from earlier studies done in Norway, China and the United States, that also touted the benefits of tea consumption, it’s easy to start believing the whole ‘green tea as a healing panacea’ dogma.
For example, (as IF you needed one) google search ‘health benefits of green tea’, and google’ll bring back over 4 million online pages waxing sweet about how green tea will do everything from helping you lose weight to keeping you alive longer…
Those two shoutouts were taken from just the 1st page Google threw back from the search…
And, because of the piles of anecdotal evidence touting the benefits of tea, plenty of otherwise reliable people gladly buy in and help spread the word.
I don’t think any of the folkism’s surrounding tea’s benefits are harmful to anyone’s health.
But, hardly any of the benefits claimed for green tea, are backed by verifiable scientific research – this fact isn’t meant to detract from the possible benefits. This lack of proof is just something to ponder while you’re pounding in your cuppa.
Privately, I’ve no doubt that any of the 3 types of tea, green, black and oolong are good for us. I mean, unfermented green tea leaves contain high amounts of polyphenols, a highly effective type of antioxidant.
Or, in the words of researcher Feng Lei, Assistant Professor at The Department of Psychological Medicine at National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine:
Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine.
These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration…”
Lei also added this ‘disclaimer’:
“Our understanding of the detailed biological mechanisms is still very limited so we do need more research to find out definitive answers”.
And, that’s my take on the findings of this newest study: it’s great news for us tea drinkers, but not yet the smoking gun proving a reliable prevention from Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia…
If you’re interested in a candid and realistic summary of this new study’s results, click on the following blue link: Tea not proven to shield you against dementia
You can also find a readable, if scholarly, essay on green tea at: University Of Maryland Medical Center
While I’ll continue to savor my mixture of green & black tea, I’m not going to put any pressure on it’s long-term health benefits – it is what it is – and that’s good enough for me…