After we reported that black leaf tea lowers high blood pressure and cuts risk of heart disease, a new study has shown that green tea could help prevent functional disability in the elderly.
Green tea can improve agility in the elderly
Green tea is already known to contain antioxidant chemicals that may help ward off cell damage that can lead to disease.
For the new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers looked into whether green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing a ‘functional disability’.
Japanese researchers from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine tracked the health of 14,000 men and women aged 65 and over for 3 years noting what they ate and drank.
They found that those who got through at least five cups of green tea a day were 33 per cent less likely to develop a ‘functional disability’ or problems with daily activities and basic needs, such as dressing or bathing, than those who drank one cup.
Results also showed that those who drank three to four cups a day cut the risk by 25 per cent.
The people who drank green tea also tended to eat healthier diets, have lower smoking rates, greater mental sharpness, more education, and be more socially active. But researchers say that even with these factors accounted for, green tea itself was still tied to a lower disability risk.
Green tea contains high levels of polyphenols, plant chemicals thought to cut cholesterol and protect DNA from damage. But whilst green tea is safe in small amounts, large levels of it could interfere with drugs that prevent blood clotting.
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