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According to a study from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in China, drinking tea can help elderly individuals reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Based on a study of almost 1,000 Chinese aged 55 and older, researchers found that drinking tea daily can reduce cognitive decay by as much as 50%. What's more is that cognitive decay can be reduced by as much as 86% for people with genetic predispositions towards Alzheimer’s.
Researchers began the study in 2003 and followed up every two years until 2010. Though there has been a lot of research and drug trials, effective therapies for cognitive decline have been difficult to develop so far. The hope is that this study will help researchers develop a new drug that can be used to either prevent or reverse the effects of cognitive decay.
The more we learn about Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders, the better we’ll come to understand the human brain. That could also help us to develop ways to better understand developmental issues that arise in younger people as well.
While cognitive decline is generally a problem faced by older people, children can face a variety of cognitive impairments, too. There's even evidence to suggest that since the bioactive ingredients of tea aid healthy brain development, tea can provide cognitive benefits to children as well.
The issue of giving kids caffeine at an early age could be problematic, but this is a situation in which the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Plus, the amount of caffeine present in tea isn't nearly as high as the amount of caffeine in coffee. In fact, in many parts of the world, it's not uncommon for children as young as five to drink tea.
Either which way you look at it, this is a pretty safe and low-cost alternative to modern medicine. Better yet, there are little to no risks associated with drinking tea, so those who want to try it don't have much to lose.