Older people who drink green tea regularly may remain more mobile than their peers who do not drink so much of this tea, according to a recent study of Japanese scientists conducted on thousands of people.
Green tea contains antioxidants that help to preserve the cells whose damage can lead to disease.
Scientists have studied the effects of green tea in many diseases – from cholesterol to the risk of getting certain types of cancer and the results have so far been mixed.
For the new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical nutrition, the researchers decided to find an answer to the question whether those who drink tea have a lower risk of developing disability when they grow old. Jasatuko Tomata with Tohoku University and his medical colleagues surveyed more than 14,000 adults ages 65 and a bit older.
They found that those who drank the most green tea had the least problems with functional capacity or less problems with daily activities, and basic needs such as dressing or bathing.
Nearly 13 percent of elderly who drank less than a cup of green tea a day have become functionally disabled compared to seven percent of people who drank more than five cups of tea a day.
“Consumers of green tea were significantly associated with lower risk of functional disability,” Tomata and his colleagues stated. Lovers of green tea are generally healthier and their diets tend to include more fish, vegetables and fruit, and smoke less and have fewer heart problems.
They also tend to be socially active. While green tea and its ingredients are considered safe in small quantities, it contains caffeine and small amounts of vitamin K, which means that it can interfere with the effect of drugs for blood clotting.