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Tea - something we can enjoy without guilt                 

                                  November 2008


Last month we mentioned the pleasures of drinking tea; now there is even more good news for tea enthusiasts.


As we get older, there seems to be so much doom and gloom about everything we do. Drinking alcohol, eating the wrong foods, not getting enough exercise or sleep – all those excesses we enjoyed when we were younger without any problems now become totally unacceptable if we want to enjoy a healthy later life.

So it is great news that something most of us indulge in and is a vital part of our everyday life is actually good for us. Yes, I am talking about the ubiquitous cup of tea!

Researchers have already claimed that drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for us as drinking plenty of water but more recently additional health benefits have come to light.

The most exciting is the latest news that drinking two or three cups of tea a day can halve the risk of dementia.

Earlier studies have been carried out on green tea which suggested that the polyphenols in green tea can protect against dementia and Alzheimers. Polyphenols are a naturally formed chemical that are thought to have superb antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and skin rejuvenating capabilities. But many of us simply don’t like the taste of green tea and much prefer to pass our time enjoying a tradition British cuppa. Now, new research from the University of Singapore indicates that drinking our more traditional black tea, with or without milk, also has real benefit.

The study covered 2,500 people aged 55 or over and each person recorded how much tea they drank and also had their cognitive functions (fitness and activity of their brain) measured. The research covered a two year period and at the end of the experiment, the researchers found that those drinking the most tea were least likely to have suffered cognitive decline, an early warning sign for dementia.

Drinking two or three cups of tea each day reduced the risk of illness by around 55 per cent. People who drank a lot of tea a day, between six and 10 cups, gained even more benefit with a reduction of risk going up to 63 per cent.

From the study, the researchers believed that the polyphenols in black tea were working in two ways; first by preventing damage to the brain cells and secondly by blocking the build-up of brain deposits called plaques which can inhibit brain function and lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

These polyphenols are also credited with other benefits. Researchers at King’s College in London found evidence that drinking three or four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack and additional recent studies have indicated there may well be a link between tea drinking and lowering cholesterol and reducing blood clots.

The only negative aspect from drinking tea is that it might impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from food. Research is continuing on this but some experts are saying that if you are at risk of anaemia, then you should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.

But generally, it seems tea is a healthy drink; and considering here in Britain we drink nearly 170 million cups of tea a day; that must be good news for a lot of people.

laterlife interest

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Talkback, Gardener's Diary, and a beauty section called Looking good in later life.

There's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

Also don't forget to take a look at our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT by IT trainer and author Jackie Sherman.

To view the latest articles click on laterlife interest or to view indexes to previous articles click on laterlife interest index. To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature at the top of the navigation.

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