Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mental Abilities and Tea

I've always found that tea produces a calm sense of alertness, a wakefulness without jitters, that I can't get elsewhere. (Blame it on the unique blend of caffeine, l-theophylline, and polyphenols.) According to several new studies, it does more that just that. Apparently, it tea helps older women avoid the decline in verbal skills associated with aging. From the NY Times:

"After controlling for other variables, the scientists found that women at age 65 who drank three or more cups of coffee or tea a day were about one-third less likely to have a significant decline in verbal skills than those who drank a cup less. By age 85, they were 70 percent less likely to suffer those deficits compared with women who drank less than a cup of coffee or tea."

It may also help people who suffer from sleep apnea reduce concentration problems. According to Dr. Andrew Weil (who got his info from the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine):

"Six to 10 cups of green tea per day may help reduce memory and concentration problems ... among people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.... Drinking green tea won’t help you overcome sleep apnea (you’ll still need to use your breathing device) but may lessen any memory or concentration problems associated with the disorder."

Very interesting. I was glad to see both coffee and tea included in the first study. It was conducted by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research. Tea's popularity is quickly rising in France right now. It's good to see researchers stay atop the trends in their studies--I hope it catches on in the US!

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