Elderly adults who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers over time, according to a Japanese study that covered thousands of people.
Green tea contains antioxidant chemicals that may help ward off the cell damage that can lead to disease. Researchers have been studying green tea’s effect on everything from cholesterol to the risk of certain cancers, with mixed results so far.
For the new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers decided to examine the question of whether green tea drinkers have a lower risk of frailty and disability as they grow older.
Yasutake Tomata of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine and his colleagues followed nearly 14,000 adults aged 65 or older for three years.
They found those who drank the most green tea were the least likely to develop “functional disability,” or problems with daily activities or basic needs, such as dressing or bathing.
Specifically, almost 13 percent of adults who drank less than a cup of green tea per day became functionally disabled, compared with just over 7 percent of people who drank at least five cups a day.
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