There are several foods which are claimed to be the best nutrition for brain development. But a study conducted by the National University of Singapore (NUS) suggested that drinking tea can lead to a healthier brain.
The study was carried out by the Assistant Professor Feng Lei from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine's Department of Psychological Medicine. It should be mentioned that the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge also participated in this research project which involved an examination of neuro-imaging data of 36 older adults.
The findings, which were published in the scientific journal Aging, indicated that the regular tea drinkers have better-organised brain regions compared to non-tea drinkers.
Asst Prof Feng Lei mentioned that the result of the study offers the first evidence of "the positive contribution of tea drinking to the brain structure and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation."
Previously, medical experts have claimed that tea intake is beneficial to human health and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention.
The NUS research, which was carried out between 2015 and 2018, included adults who are aged 60 or above. The team of researchers gathered data on older adults' health, lifestyle and psychological well-being and then all the participants underwent neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Later, when the team analysed the reports they found that the people 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. It also showed that daily consumption of tea can reduce the risk of cognitive decline in older persons by 50 percent.
Asst Prof Feng said, "When the connections between brain regions are more structured, information processing can be performed more efficiently."
He also mentioned that the current findings relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings, which claimed that tea drinkers had a better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers "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."
Asst Prof Feng and his team currently planning to examine what effects tea and its bioactive compounds can have on mental decline.