Grow old healthily with green tea
The more cups of green tea over-65s drink each day, the healthier they are likely to be. According to an epidemiological study from Tohuku University, each cup of green tea a day that elderly people drink reduces the chance of them developing complaints that limit their ability to function independently.
The researchers followed a group of men and women in the town of Ohsaki, all of whom were 65 or older in 2006. They were looking for factors that reduce old people's likelihood of needing medical attention. According to the study, green tea is one of these factors.
The Japanese discovered that while green tea does not offer protection against prostate cancer [Br J Cancer. 2006 Aug 7; 95(3): 371-3.], it does reduce the chance of fatal pneumonia
[Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep; 90(3): 672-9.], psychological stress [Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov; 90(5): 1390-6.] and of depression [Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec; 90(6): 1615-22.].
It's hardly surprising that the green-tea drinkers lived longer than the non-tea drinkers in the study. [JAMA. 2006 Sep 13; 296(10): 1255-65.]
The Japanese have published the results of another study, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, based on the data in the Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study. This time they monitored 14,000 participants for a period of three years, and looked at whether green-tea drinkers developed complaints which made them require help less frequently. In the words of the study: the researchers looked at the relationship between drinking green tea and 'incident functional disability'.
As you can see, drinking five or more cups of green tea per day reduces the chance of some form of invalidity by almost 35 percent.
"Green tea consumption is inversely associated with incident functional disability", the researchers conclude. "Clinical trials are necessary to confirm the protective effect of green tea against functional disability."
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Mar;95(3):732-9.
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