Fair
0°CTue :Partly Cloudy/Wind. High: 18 Low: -2

Green tea drinkers show less disability with age

Green tea drinkers show less disability with age

New York: Elderly adults who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers over time, a large study of Japanese adults suggests.

Green tea contains certain antioxidant chemicals — particularly a compound known as EGCG — that may help ward off the body-cell damage that can lead to disease. And researchers have been studying green tea`s effects on everything from cholesterol to the risk of certain cancers — with mixed results so far.

For the new study, Japanese researchers looked at a different question: Do green-tea drinkers have any lower risk of frailty and disability as they grow old?

Following nearly 14,000 adults age 65 and older, they found that people who drank the most green tea were the least likely to develop “functional disability” over the next three years.

Functional disability refers to problems with daily activities like going to the store or doing housework, or difficulty with more-basic needs like dressing and bathing.

In this study, almost 13 percent of adults who drank less than a cup of green tea per day became functionally disabled. That compared with just over 7 percent of people who drank at least five cups per day.

That alone does not prove that green tea keeps you spry into your golden years.

But the study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, did account for a range of factors that could explain the connection.

Green-tea lovers generally had healthier diets — more fish, vegetables and fruit — as well as more education, lower smoking rates, fewer heart attacks and strokes and greater mental sharpness.

They also tended to be more socially active and have more friends and family to rely on. (Studies have found that older adults with more “social support” are less likely to become disabled.)

But even with those factors considered, green tea itself was tied to a lower disability risk, according to the researchers, led by Yasutake Tomata of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine.

People who drank at least five cups a day were one-third less likely to develop disabilities than those who had less than a cup a day. And people who averaged three or four cups a day had a 25 percent lower risk.

All of that hints at a real effect of green tea. But ultimately, Tomata`s team writes, definitive proof can come only from clinical trials testing the effects of green tea, or green tea extracts, on disability risk.

If green tea does offer a buffer against disability, it`s not clear how.

But one recent study found that green tea extracts seemed to boost leg muscle strength in older women, notes Tomata`s team, who could not be reached for comment.

In general, green tea is considered safe in moderate amounts. But the tea and its extracts do contain caffeine, which some people may need to avoid.

Green tea also contains small amounts of vitamin K, which means it could interfere with drugs that prevent blood-clotting, like warfarin. Since many elderly people are on multiple medications, it`s wise for them to talk with their doctors before using green tea as a health tonic.

 

Top Stories

Post retirement, PM to move to bungalow vacated by Sheila Dikshit

Post retirement, PM to move to bungalow vacated by Sheila Dikshit

February-28-2014
New Delhi: A sprawling bungalow on Motilal Nehru Place will be the abode of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once he retires after
Sukhbir Singh Badal takes jibe at Congress, dubs it as 'politically pauper'

Sukhbir Singh Badal takes jibe at Congress, dubs it as ‘politically pauper’

February-28-2014
Muktsar: Describing Congress as “politically pauper”, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday alleged that Congress was facing severe political
Train fires: Railways to reply SC on use of sub-standard materials

Train fires: Railways to reply SC on use of sub-standard materials

February-28-2014
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Centre and Railways on the allegation that use of sub-standard materials
Dark matter annihilation may be possible

Dark matter annihilation may be possible

February-28-2014
Washington: Researchers have claimed that gamma-ray photons observed from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy are consistent with the intriguing possibility
INS Sindhuratna fire: Police register accidental death case

INS Sindhuratna fire: Police register accidental death case

February-28-2014
Mumbai: On Thursday, police registered a case of accidental death over the fire incident on board the submarine INS Sindhuratna, in which
Electric bus service debuts in Bangalore

Electric bus service debuts in Bangalore

February-28-2014
Bangalore: State-run Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Friday began operating an electrically-charged bus service to provide eco-friendly public transport to commuters. Initially,