Tea Impacts Brain Structure

Habitual tea drinking creates better nerve wiring

Woman drinking tea

Woman drinking tea

Regular tea drinkers have better-organized brain regions—and this is associated with healthy cognitive function—compared to non-tea drinkers, according to researchers writing in Aging.

Upon analyzing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.

Read: Super Powered Goji-Ginger Cinnamon Iced-Tea Recipe

“Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation,” explained team leader Assistant Professor Feng Leiis from the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.

The research was carried out together with collaborators from the University of Essex and University of Cambridge. The team recruited 36 adults, aged 60 and above, and gathered data about their health, lifestyle, and psychological well-being. The elderly participants also underwent neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.

Read: Brain Loss Is Measurable At 45

“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 less resources. Similarly, when the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently. We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had 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 organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections.”

Reference Junhua Li, Rafael Romero-Garcia, John Suckling, Lei Feng. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging, 2019; 11 (11): 3876 DOI: 10.18632/aging.102023
comments powered by Disqus