Saturday January 18, 2020

Tea Drinkers Have Healthier Brain Functioning, Research Suggests

Tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers, research suggests

0
//
Green Tea, Brain, Research, Tea
Matcha is the finely ground powder of new leaves from shade-grown (90 per cent shade) Camellia sinensis green tea bushes. Wikimedia Commons

Research suggests that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers.

“Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation,” according to a study authored by Feng Lei, Assistant Professor from the National University of Singapore.

Previous researchers have demonstrated that tea intake is beneficial to human health and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Green Tea, Brain, Research, Tea
Tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Wikimedia Commons

For the study published in the journal Aging, the research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above and gathered data about their health, lifestyle and psychological well-being.

The elderly participants also had to undergo neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.

ALSO READ: Here’s Why Private Instagram Posts Aren’t Private

Upon analysing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.

“We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers,” Lei said.

“Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Consumption of Soybean Oil May Affect Neurological Conditions: Study

Soybean oil diet may trigger genetic changes in brain

0
Soybean oil
Soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes but may also affect neurological conditions. Wikimedia Commons

Widely consumed soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes but may also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and depression, report researchers from University of California Riverside, including one of Indian origin.

In a study conducted on mice, the scientists found pronounced effects of the soybean oil on the hypothalamus where a number of critical processes take place.

The research team discovered nearly 100 genes – including the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin produced in hypothalamus — affected by the soybean oil diet.

Soybean oil  brain
In a study conducted on mice, the scientists found pronounced effects of the soybean oil on the hypothalamus where a number of critical processes take place. Pixabay

“The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, an associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study published in the journal Endocrinology.

The research team has not yet isolated which chemicals in the oil are responsible for the changes they found in the hypothalamus.

“But they have ruled out two candidates. It is not linoleic acid, since the modified oil also produced genetic disruptions; nor is it stigmasterol, a cholesterol-like chemical found naturally in soybean oil,” the study noted.

Identifying the compounds responsible for the negative effects is an important area for the team’s future research.

“This could help design healthier dietary oils in the future,” said Poonamjot Deol, first author on the study.

“If there’s one message I want people to take away, it’s this: reduce consumption of soybean oil,” Deol added.

Soybean oil brain
Consumption of Soybean oil may lead to autism. Pixabay

The team compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

They believe this discovery could have ramifications not just for energy metabolism,but also for proper brain function and diseases such as autism or Parkinson’s disease.

“However, it is important to note there is no proof the oil causes these diseases,” the authors wrote.

Te same research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

The team said the findings only apply to soybean oil — not to other soy products or to other vegetable oils.

“Do not throw out your tofu, soymilk, edamame, or soy sauce,” said Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology.

“Many soy products only contain small amounts of the oil, and large amounts of healthful compounds such as essential fatty acids and proteins”.

Also Read- Excessive Cardio Can Make you Gain Weight

This study utilized male mice. Because oxytocin is so important for maternal health and promotes mother-child bonding, similar studies need to be performed using female mice.

Coconut oil, which contains saturated fats, produced very few changes in the hypothalamic genes, said the researchers. (IANS)