A study by the National University of Singapore analyzed neuroimaging data and found that regular tea consumers demonstrated better structural organization of brain regions compared to non-tea drinkers.
In the study, published in the academic journal Aging, researchers examined 36 adult participants, aged 60 and over, collecting data on their overall state of health and mental wellness. Neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were administered between 2015 and 2018. The imaging results measured cognitive performance and how tea consumption affected certain brain regions.
Based on the results, researchers observed how brain regions were interconnected in a more efficient manner after consuming tea four times a week, at a minimum, for a span of 25 years. Drinking tea, whether it be green tea or black tea, also led to a more efficient structural organization of the brain, however, without any significant effect on the global functional organization.
“We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers,” said Feng Lei, lead researcher of the study and Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore. “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.”
“Our study offers the first evidence of the positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure and suggests a protective effect on age-related decline in brain organisation.”