Presse Santé

Drinking tea 4 times a week prevents cognitive decline

A recent study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that regular tea drinkers had better organized brain regions linked to healthy cognitive function compared to non-tea drinkers.

The results of this study provide the first evidence of the positive contribution of tea consumption to brain structure and suggest that regular tea consumption has a protective effect against age-related brain deterioration.

The research was conducted with collaborators from the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge. The results were published in the scientific journal Aging.

Tea: areas of the brain are better connected to each other

Previous studies have already shown that drinking tea is beneficial to human health and that its positive effects include improving mood, preventing cardiovascular disease and halving the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly.

For this new study that explores in more detail the direct effect of tea on brain networks, the research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and over and collected data on their health, lifestyle and well-being – to be psychic. The elderly participants also had to undergo neuropsychological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests. The study was conducted from 2015 to 2018.

After analyzing participants’ cognitive performance and image scores, the research team found that people who consumed green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for 25 years had more efficient interconnected brain regions.

Neural connections: like a roadmap

The results of the study can be understood in a simple way. Take the example of road traffic: think of brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are roads.

When the road system is better organized, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses fewer resources. Likewise, when the connections between brain regions are more regulated, information processing can be performed more efficiently.

In previous studies, tea drinkers were shown to have better cognitive function compared to non-tea drinkers. The current findings related to the brain network indirectly confirm the previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are: The result of improved brain organization resulting from interruption of connections between regions.

Cognitive performance, memory, the more connection, the better

Because cognitive performance and brain regulation are closely related, more research is needed to better understand how functions such as memory emerge from brain circuits, as well as possible interventions to better preserve cognition during the aging process. Professor Feng and his team intend to study the effects of tea as well as the bioactive compounds found in tea on cognitive decline.


Junhua Li et al. Habitual tea drinking modifies brain efficiency: Evidence from an assessment of brain connectivity, Aging (2019). DOI: 10.18632 / Aging.102023

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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