Scientists in Singapore have read the tea leaves, and found that a cuppa of the brew is good for the brain.
The four-year study adds to the literature on tea’s long-touted virtues. Moreover, any type of tea will do just fine.
The main finding is that tea slows down brain-cell degeneration and thus keeps the mind sharp into old age, said Professor Ng Tze Pin from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) psychological medicine department.
It was found that catechins, a natural compound in tea, protect brain cells from damaging protein build-up over the years, maintaining the brain’s cognitive capability.
Moreover, the caffeine in tea, unlike that in coffee, contains the natural protein theanine, which counters the normal side effects of caffeine such as raised blood pressure, headaches and tiredness.
Brain-cell degeneration, caused by a combination of loss of nerve cells, predisposed genes, small strokes and increased levels of harmful protein build-up, often leads to dementia.