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Green tea promotes healthy ageing

7th February 2012

People who drink green tea stay agile and more independent as elderly adults, according to a recent Japanese study.

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Those who brewed and drank a lot of the antioxidant-rich beverage seemed to end up much healthier than people who came from the same backgrounds but did not have the same habit.

Yasutake Tomata, of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, said that green tea consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of functional disability.

He said that, after adjustment for possible confounding factors, the statistical relationship between drinking green tea and having good health remained.

For the study, the researchers relied on dietary information relating to 14,000 older adults.

All the study subjects were over 65.

Green tea contains a host of powerful compounds widely believed to have antibiotic, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-depressant properties.

The compounds found in green tea, some of which are almost completely unique to green tea, also seem to benefit cardiovascular health and help people regulate stress.

For the recent study, the researchers followed the study subjects for three years, to see whether or not elderly people who drank green tea ended up being more independent.

The people who drank the highest amounts of green tea were least likely to develop functional disability, characterised as problems with basic needs such as dressing and bathing.

Roughly 13% of adults who drank less than a cup per day were classified as functionally disabled,

Only about 7% of people who drank at least five cups of green tea per day were functionally disabled, however.

However, the study only linked functional disability and green tea statistically.

It remains to be seen whether or not green tea is actually working inside the brains of elderly people, but this is a possibility.

Researchers will need to conduct further studies to get to the bottom of the statistical association, which may be due to the combined effect of good diet and low smoking rates.

Green tea drinkers tended to eat more fish, vegetables, and fruit. They had fewer heart attacks and heart problems.

They also seemed to be more educated and more mentally acute, as well as more socially active.

Such statistical influences were averaged out, leaving the final statistic of 7%.

In total, people who drank five cups of green tea per day were about 33% less likely to develop disabilities than people who drank very little green tea.

Drinking three or four cups a day resulted in a 25% decreased risk, on average.

Tomata and his colleagues wrote that another recent study showed there was a connection between green tea extracts and leg muscle strength in older women.

Green tea should be used with caution, if at all, by people taking blood clotting medications.

 

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