Drinking This Many Cups of Tea Daily Slashes Dementia Risk, New Study Says
New research has given insight into how tea can help your brain health.
Nearly five million U.S. adults over the age of 65 had some type of dementia in 2014, and this number is only increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency estimates that nearly 14 million older adults will develop brain impairment by 2060. It's also recently become one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., as the rate of deaths linked to dementia has more than doubled since 2000. But despite the increase in cases and deaths, dementia is not a normal part of aging. In fact, research has found that there are several things you could do earlier in life that can either increase or reduce your risk of developing dementia. Tea drinkers are likely already on track to avoiding this disease, according to a new study that concluded daily consumption of this beverage could slash your dementia risk. Read on to find out how many cups of tea you need to drink a day to make a significant difference to your brain health.
Drinking three to five cups of tea a day could significantly lower your risk of dementia.
Researchers from Tianjin Medical University in China looked at the impact that drinking tea has on the risk of dementia, publishing their findings Nov. 16 in the PLOS Medicine journal. The study analyzed more than 365,000 participants from the United Kingdom Biobank who joined the cohort from 2006 to 2010 when they were between 50 to 74 years old. According to the study, participants who drank three to five cups of tea every day had about a 30 percent reduced risk of developing dementia. But even just two to three cups a day lowered the risk by 28 percent, the study found.
Tea contains several chemicals that are likely to impact dementia development.
The study did not look at the exact science behind why tea might lower your chances of developing dementia, but the researchers did offer up some explanations. According to these researchers, tea contains several chemicals that have the potential to impact factors that can possibly cause some form of brain impairment at an older age. "Tea contains caffeine, catechin polyphenols, and flavonoids, which have been reported to have neuroprotective roles such as antioxidative stress, anti-inflammation, inhibition of amyloid-beta aggregation, and antiapoptosis," the study stated.
If you're not a tea fan, coffee can reduce your dementia risk as well.
The researchers also looked at the impact of coffee on dementia risk. According to the study, drinking two to three cups of coffee a day also reduced the risk of dementia by 20 percent. The researchers determined that instant coffee and ground coffee were both associated with a lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and vascular dementia when compared to decaffeinated coffee as well. Ground coffee was 26 percent more likely to reduce dementia risk compared to decaffeinated coffee, while instant coffee was 15 percent more likely, according to the study. For Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia, ground coffee lowered risk by 33 and 26 percent, respectively. Instant coffee reduced the risk for Alzheimer's and vascular dementia by 19 and 16 percent, respectively.
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Drinking both coffee and tea can also reduce your stroke risk.
Stroke risk in association with these two beverages was also assessed in this study. The researchers found that those who drank two to three cups of coffee a day had a 12 percent lower risk of stroke, while those who drank at least two to three cups of tea a day had a reduced stroke risk of 16 percent. And drinking coffee and tea could be the most helpful beverage choice of all. In fact, the researchers noted that the "combination of coffee and tea seemed to correlate with lower risk of stroke and dementia compared to coffee or tea separately."
According to the study, people who drank a combination of four to six cups of coffee and tea had the lowest risk of dementia and stroke. Two to three cups of tea combined with two to three cups of tea each day resulted in about a 32 and 28 percent lower risk of stroke and dementia, respectively.