health

Need another reason to drink green tea? How about preventing dementia?

20 Comments
By Casey Baseel

There’s quite a lot to be said for green tea. It has no calorific content of its own to speak of, and doesn’t need sugar or cream to taste great. A steaming cup can warm you up in winter, or you can drop a couple of ice cubes in and cool off with a glass in midsummer.

Now, new research suggests that aside from keeping your body trim and your palate pleased, a daily cup of green tea can help keep your mind sharp by warding off the onset of dementia.

Researchers from Kanazawa University, led by neurology professor Masahito Yamada, recently wrapped up a five-year study on the connection between green tea consumption and mental health. During 2007 and 2008, the team interviewed 982 residents over the age of 60 living in Nanao City, located on the Noto Peninsula of Ishikawa Prefecture.

The study participants were asked about their consumption of green tea, black tea, and coffee, and also completed a series of exercises designed to gauge their cognitive capabilities. Five years later, the researchers once met with the 490 subjects who could be located and were available for retesting.

By comparing the results of the two tests, researchers were able to gauge which participants had developed dementia or other, less severe mental disorders in the time between the two meetings. Arranging the data by how much green tea the group drank showed an astounding difference.

Out of the 157 subjects who said they drank green tea every day, only 18, or 11.5%, showed mental disorders. The numbers were similar for the subset that drank green tea one to six times a week, with 29 out of 195, or 14.9%, having developed problems.

In contrast, 43 of the 138 people who said they never drank green tea - a whopping 31.2% - displayed signs of diminished mental functions. In other words, drinking green tea daily reduced a person’s risk of developing dementia or dementia-like symptoms to roughly one-third of those who never partook of Japan’s favorite non-alcoholic beverage.

On the other hand, the researchers were unable to find any such benefits for drinkers of coffee or black tea.

This isn’t the first study to show a possible link between green tea and mental health. Professor Yamada asserts that the results of his team’s study have an especially high level of credibility, due to the length of time between the two tests. “In the future, I hope that the development of dementia countermeasures will spring from this data,” he added.

As we always like to believe our best years are still to come, it’s a hope we share. Now if you’ll excuse us, we think our tea is ready.

Source: Chunichi Shimbun

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Sit back with a “relaxing” cup of tea -- Drink up and smile with this cute limited edition line of tea from Kirin! -- 7-Eleven Japan gets old school with green tea and azuki bean ice bars

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20 Comments
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As far as dementia there is little you can do to prevent it. The truth is you can only reduce your risk by eating right, exercising, staying mentally and socially active, and keeping your stress in check. In other words lead a healthy lifestyle then you may be able to prevent the symptoms and slow down or even reverse the process of deterioration. In the end hope for the best and wait for a miracle drug cure in the future.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Probably the key to handling dementia is communication.

People who stare at walls from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed are not generally mentally healthy.

I doubt the actual tea has much to do with it, rather the act of putting the kettle on, making a pot of tea, drinking it with friends and then having a good old chin wag.

You could probably say the same about "Gate Ball."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okay, let's do a quick b.s. test. Green tea is almost exclusively drunk in Asian countries... hmm... no evidence of lower dementia rates in Asia vs other countries. Let's see, maybe its just Japanese green tea. Hmm... no evidence of lower dementia rates in Japan vs other countries. ("The global prevalence of dementia: A systematic review and metaanalysis", Prince, et. al., 2013).

I call b.s.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I'm always reading articles touting miraculous medical claims that are eventually contradicted following another round of testing. I'll drink green tea anyway, because it goes good with my sushi.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Okay, let's do a quick b.s. test. Green tea is almost exclusively drunk in Asian countries... hmm... no evidence of lower dementia rates in Asia vs other countries. Let's see, maybe its just Japanese green tea. Hmm... no evidence of lower dementia rates in Japan vs other countries. ("The global prevalence of dementia: A systematic review and metaanalysis", Prince, et. al., 2013).

I call b.s.

I would tend to agree.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I heard that turmeric might help in preventing dementia. Here is a lengthy report:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/

You can also type turmeric and dementia, (or Alzheimers) in the web browser for more reports.

Okinawans use turmeric in their daily diet. They call it "ukon". I just planted some in my garden and they just sprouted again.

So, enjoy your curry rice, curry udon, and ukon drink. etc. Green tea is great, but I prefer it without caffeine. I suggested to an established brand if they can also sell decaffeinated green tea but they did not seem enthusiastic about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The sample seems to be a bit tiny. Was this sponsored by tea makers? Also, does tea in a PET bottle have the same effect as freshly brewed tea?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I call b.s

So do I. I'm surrounded by folks who sit around all day slurping green tea by the gallon, and they still get the senile.

.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Interesting how quick most posters are prepared to reject a fairly good study. I do not know if this has been properly peer reviewed and how the study subjects were selected, but this does suggest a very strong correlation between drinking tea and avoiding dementia. While the sample size is small, it is statistically significant given the findings.

Frungy - you have found some good counter evidence, but from what I could find of the report, it does not single out Japan, but rather "Asia". We do not know what other factors about diet or lifestyle in other countries could contribute to causing or reducing dimentia. Green tea may be one factor among many.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

...In other words, drinking green tea daily reduced a person’s risk of developing dementia or dementia-like symptoms to roughly one-third of those who never partook of Japan’s favorite non-alcoholic beverage...

No. That is not a logical conclusion to make. Drinking green tea was only one small thing that these respondents did every day. I could take any other aspect of people's every day life - for example eating miso soup - and find that a certain percentage of people who developed dementia regularly ate, or didn't eat, miso soup. Undoubtedly a certain percentage of miso soup eaters will develop dementia, as will non miso soup eaters. Whichever percentage is slightly lower doesn't mean I can suddenly claim that eating or not eating miso soup reduces the risk of developing dementia. What else did these people have in common? What toothpaste did they use? How many of them lived alone? How often did they socialize? How many of them regularly used a PC? etc. etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As discribed the study seems incomplete. I would have thought, to avoid making a false correlation, the study would have looked at what component in green tea staves off dementia.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's always fun and exciting to hear about the next wonder food that can fix everything for you, and amusing to find it labelled a poison two yrs later!

RE Bernie, well the same could be said for Coffee, Black tea etc which didn't have any correlation

although

It's been found that water is a main ingredient in pesticides and herbicides, it has also been found that 100% of rapists and serial killers drink water, and all people who have had the experience of imbibing water have so far eventually died.

But… I read that on the internet, so maybe I should doubt it...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Correlation does not equal causation.

http://www.tylervigen.com/

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is only a correlative study, which has a strong possibility of having 3rd variables. In other words, people who drink green tea may also be prone to a healthier lifestyle which in turn leads to a lower incidence of dementia. Then again, it doesn't seem like green tea is harmful, so it couldn't hurt to drink it if you like it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This study appears to have observed a positive correlation between green tea drinking and a significant reduction in the risk of developing dementia. Frungy's observation that other research found Asians do not have a significantly lower risk of dementia does not rule out the possibility that green tea drinkers do. I am a Canadian and I drink green tea and lots of it is sold here. No harm can come from drinking a cup of green tea each day, which I started doing as a cancer fighting alternative to coffee. And believing it can prevent Alzheimer's can only enhance this possibility, as the Placebo effect alone can account for up to a 40% improvement in health outcomes. Ultimately it is each individual's choice whether to drink Green tea to maintain good health or not. I recommend people do so. And eat turmeric and pepper daily too!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is only a correlative study, which has a strong possibility of having 3rd variables. In other words, people who drink green tea may also be prone to a healthier lifestyle which in turn leads to a lower incidence of dementia. Then again, it doesn't seem like green tea is harmful, so it couldn't hurt to drink it if you like it.

Good observation!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I reckon step by step one of the only things my MIL can do for herself is make a cup of green tea. She's drunk it all her life and it didn't stop her sinking into this sad disease. Mind you - I'm currently boiling down cans of coconut milk in the hope that coconut oil will somehow stop me losing my marbles. :-)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The latest scientific evidence backed understanding of dementia is that it is caused by abnormally folded protein molecules that trigger replication of themselves in the fibroid plaque that builds up in aging brains. Most drug company research for the last 20 years has been aimed at finding ways to reduce the fibroid masses in the mistaken belief that they are the cause of dementia. The abnormal proteins are misfolded copies of proteins that the body makes for normal brain functions. Unlike the regular proteins which are water soluble, the misfolded shape makes them insoluble, so they build up and block brain channels, causing the characteristic pinholes in the brain tissue that is diagnostic in autopsies for dementia. The misfolded proteins are spread to others by ingesting (as in eating meat from BSE mad cows or drinking sewage contaminated water). The latest research has determined that breathing such prions is 10,000 times more infectious than ingesting them. It takes some 15 years after exposure for the symptoms to develop. Dementia is no longer a disease of the aging population, as CJD nv (new variant) is killing young people in their 20s, so was contracted in childhood. The best way to prevent dementia is to prevent the spread of the infectious prions by safely destroying the sewage from sick people so it does not contaminate the air, water, and soil environment (as now happens when it is spread on farmland as fertilizer!) and by testing slaughtered animals to prevent infected meat being eaten by people or animals. This is not easy, as CJD prions have withstood temperatures up to 500 degrees C. Unfortunately governments and the sewage disposal industry will avoid doing this until there is sufficient public awareness to insist it happen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The tiny sample used makes this research pretty worthless when it comes to declaring that green tea may prevent dementia. Bad science and a huge lack of basic scientific knowledge and how to read a research paper from the media.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I do not recall green tea drunk in general by other Asian nations. Most Asian nations I heard drinks fermented tea(Black tea, Pu'ercha and/or Oloong tea) as their favorite drink not green tea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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