The discovery of tea was inadvertent, according to an ancient Chinese legend. In 2736 BCE, Shen Nung, the Chinese emperor, was lounging under a tree while his servant was boiling water. Leaves fell from the tree into the emperor’s drink, he decided to drink it and tea was born.
Tea is enjoyed by people from all over the world, with a variety of flavors that will make your taste buds work over time. Today cafes and restaurants feature tea on their menu and many people will choose it over the other options.
While people are enjoying their favorite beverage, they aren’t giving much thought to its many health benefits. A recent study conducted by professor Feng Lee at Singapore’s Yong Loo Yin School of Medicine, shows tea reduces the risk of cognitive impairment by 50 percent. Researchers monitored 1,000 Chinese adults over the age of 55 for two years. The participants were a mixture of tea drinkers and non-tea drinkers, so researchers could make more accurate comparisons.
The researchers were surprised by the findings, which showed the participants that consumed tea on a daily basis reduced their risk of cognitive impairment by 50 percent. The participants who consumed tea daily, with the apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) gene, which increases a person’ risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, reduced their risks by up to a remarkable 86 percent.
A previous relevant study conducted by researchers at the First Affiliated Hospital in Zhejiang, China, showed green tea slowed the progression of liver disease. Researchers examined studies from the United States, Japan and China to determine the link between liver disease and green tea.
The participants consumed a variety of teas, including black, oolong and green, but this did not alter the effect of the health benefit.
“Based on current knowledge, this long term benefit of tea consumption is due to the bioactive compounds in tea leaves, such as catechins, theaflavins, thearubigins and L-theanine,” Lee said.
The elements of tea are linked to its many benefits, since calming the T-cell inflammatory response aids in reducing the symptoms of allergies and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Even though the participants were senior citizens, researchers are confident that the findings could apply to everyone.