Singapore: Regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions -- which is associated with healthy cognitive function -- compared to non-tea drinkers, a study claims.
The research, published in the journal Aging, examined neuroimaging data of 36 older adults for the study.
"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," said team leader Feng Lei, Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Past studies have demonstrated that tea intake is beneficial to human health, and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention, researchers said.
The team, including researchers from the University of Essex and University of Cambridge in the UK, recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above, and gathered data about their health, lifestyle, and psychological well-being.
The elderly participants also had to undergo neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.
Upon analysing 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.
"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," Feng said.