How Tea Can Help Against Dementia
According to the Mayo Clinic, Dementia is a very common disease affecting the elderly. 3 million cases are diagnosed every year, and in Australia, the current number of people affected by dementia is around 354,000. There are around 26,000 cases of younger onset of dementia, and with dementia as the 2nd leading cause of death in Australia, this is not something to be taken lightly.
Dementia is a cruel and lamentable affliction, and, for the most part, modern medicine has yet to find a reliable cure.
But perhaps scientists may find an answer by looking to the past: according to a new study done by the National University of Singapore, drinking one of the world’s oldest beverages, tea, regularly could lower the risk of cognitive decline among the elderly by 50%.
And do you know that those who are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (a form of Dementia) that drank tea regularly had an 86% lower chance of actually getting Alzheimer’s?
While the study only looked at a rather small sample size of a specific group of people, the preliminary results are promising. And what’s even better, the study goes on to disclose that the type of tea (black, green, white or oolong) did not seem to change the preservative effects on the brain.
“Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world,” the study concludes, “the data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life.”
How much tea to drink? The key to this actually is regular consumption, according to scientists. The more you drink, the better the results. But of course, too much is not as good as well so drink in moderation.
It's not known yet how tea can help prevent dementia, but the theory goes that the flavonoids in tea, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential, and L-theanine which regulates neurotransmitter and brain activities, help a lot.
How to Spot Dementia Early
If dementia is spotted earlier, you or your loved one can have a higher chance of avoiding brain decline. Here are some early signs that you need to take note of.
1. Memory loss and problems thinking. They are struggling to remember things that happened recently, forgetting names of people or where things are kept.
2. Small mistakes while carrying out daily tasks, like leaving teabag in a coffee
3. Reaching out to objects inefficiently, or touching them when they don't need to
4. Difficulty completing easy or familiar tasks
5. Difficulty in following conversations
6. Repeating oneself
7. Feeling confused in a familiar place
8. Mood or emotion problems
9. Struggling to follow the story in a book, or understand magazine/newspaper articles
These are called micro-errors, and if you or your loved one has been making these small mistakes often, there is a risk to develop dementia in the future. So now while early, drink tea and continually stimulate your brain.
As they say, what's good for the heart is also good for the brain. Couple it with a good diet and exercise as well, and you're on your way to a better aging.