By John Salak–
No people are probably fonder of a cuppa tea than the British and their cohorts. With or without milk or sugar, it’s a morning, afternoon and evening mainstay for Brits and hundreds of millions of others worldwide.
Drink the correct tea, however, and it becomes more than a bracing, feel-good drink. It may help individuals live longer and healthier lives and even battle Alzheimer’s Disease.
Edith Cowan University in Australia, in fact, recently reported that a daily cup of green or black delivers powerful flavonoids that can offset strokes and heart attacks, particularly among the elderly.
The university teamed up with The Heart Foundation to study almost 900 mature women with a median age of 80 to determine the health benefits of black or green tea. They discovered women who took a cup of flavonoid-rich tea (or other sources) every day were far less likely to have an extensive buildup of abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) than those who didn’t. These buildups are dangerous because they predict cardiovascular risks such as heart attack and stroke.
Flavonoid-rich teas have significant health benefits, but the university’s researchers now believe they may be even more beneficial than first suggested.
“AAC is a major predictor of vascular disease events, and this study shows intake of flavonoids, that could protect against AAC, are easily achievable in most people’s diets,” reported study lead Ben Parmenter, a researcher at Edith Cowan. “The main contributors are usually black or green tea, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, red wine, apples, raisins/grapes and dark chocolate.”
The health benefits of black, green and some other teas don’t stop with their potential ability to thwart strokes and heart attacks. The Australian research team also suggested that tea health benefits may also include offsetting late-life dementia.
Research from South Korea supports this life-enhancing theme. A team from Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH) identified the potential benefits of ruby red hibiscus tea. The Korean researchers noted that red hibiscus tea may boost immune systems, control blood pressure and even support weight loss. Yet they recently discovered that the gossypetin found in hibiscus activates microglia, the resident immune cell in the brain, which can help improve cognitive impairments brought on by Alzheimer’s
These findings could open new ways to help those with dementia battle the disease.
“We have confirmed that removing Aβ aggregates deposited in the brain is effective in preventing and treating dementia. Gossypetin from hibiscus will contribute to developing a safe and affordable drug for patients suffering from AD,” explained POSTECH Professor Kyong-Tai Kim.
A cuppa green, black or ruby red hibiscus tea seems like a good bet.