By Lucy Buglass
It’s no secret that Britons love tea, and among benefits such as relaxation and energising, it could also help with brain health.
A new study by the National University of Singapore suggests that those who regularly drink tea have better organised brain regions, when compared with those who don't.
National University of Singapore researchers worked with the University of Essex and University of Cambridge to analyse 36 adults aged 60 or above.
This age range was chosen because better-organised brain regions are associated with healthy cognitive function. In turn, this protects against age-related decline.
As well as their tea consumption, researchers looked at their health, lifestyle and mental well-being to see if there were any similarities across participants.
They found that those who consumed green, oolong or black tea at least four times per week for 25 years had brain regions which they described as “interconnected in a more efficient way”, compared to non-tea drinkers.
Speaking about the study results, Feng Lei, team leader and assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Singapore said: “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.”
To further explain why organised brain regions are so important, Dr Feng used the analogy of road traffic, adding: “Consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads. When a road system is better organised, 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.”
But earlier this year, another study revealed that Britons were too busy to take a tea break.
We should probably change that, if this new study is anything to go by.
We’re off to put the kettle on.
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