A cup of tea a day can keep dementia away, the Export Development Board (EDB) in a recent posting on its website said.
Tea is Sri Lanka’s fourth largest foreign exchange earner.
The EDB, quoting Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Feng Lei said that fighting dementia is specially so for those who are genetically at risk of developing this debilitating disease.
A study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older showed that the daily consumption of tea decreases the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50 per cent, whereas the ‘APOE e4’ gene carriers who are genetically predisposed to the Alzheimer's disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%, the EDB said.
The University’s research team also discovered that the neuro-protective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not confined to a particular type of tea - so long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.
“While the study was conducted on elderly Chinese, the results could apply to other races as well. Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention. Despite high quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia still remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory. The data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person's risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life,” said Feng.
He added, “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. These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential and other bioactive properties that may protect the brain from vascular damage and neuro-degeneration.”
Since the global population is rapidly ageing and since that does amplify the incidence of dementia, tea can do a lot to lower the risk of dementia in the elderly, said the EDB.
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