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Drinking tea every day is proven to delay biological aging

Recent research suggests that enjoying a daily ritual of tea drinking could have more benefits than just relaxation. According to a new study, indulging in three cups of tea daily might contribute to delaying the process of biological aging. 

This finding by Chinese scientists hints at the possibility that the traditional brew, rich in certain health-promoting compounds, may play a role in enhancing longevity.

Historically, black tea has been recognized for its potential health benefits, particularly in enhancing heart, gut, and brain health.

Moreover, animal studies have indicated that flavonoids, abundantly found in tea, could potentially increase the lifespan of organisms ranging from worms and flies to mice.

Studying tea’s impact on aging

A comprehensive study by experts at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, involved analyzing data from two cohorts: 5,998 British individuals aged between 37 and 73, and 7,931 Chinese participants aged 30 to 79. 

The participants provided detailed information about their tea consumption habits, including the type of tea they preferred (green, black, yellow, or oolong) and the average number of cups they consumed each day. 

The researchers then assessed various aging markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and body fat percentage to determine the participants’ biological age.

Tea slows biological aging

The findings, published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific, revealed that tea drinkers exhibited signs of slower biological aging. 

“The exposure-response relationship suggested that consuming around three cups of tea or six to eight grams of tea leaves per day may offer the most evident anti-aging benefits,” the authors wrote.

Interestingly, those who had given up on tea drinking showed a higher increase in the acceleration of biological aging.

Powerful polyphenols 

The researchers attributed these anti-aging benefits to polyphenols, the primary bioactive substances in tea, which are believed to influence gut microbiota significantly.

This, in turn, impacts age-related shifts in immunity, metabolism, and cognitive function. 

While the study did not delve into the specific types of tea, it found no substantial differences in delayed aging between UK black tea drinkers and Chinese green tea enthusiasts.

Furthermore, the temperature at which the tea was consumed appeared to have no impact on the outcomes.

However, the researchers acknowledged limitations in their study, including not accounting for the size of the tea cups used by participants.

As the study was observational, it could not definitively conclude that tea drinking was directly responsible for slowing down biological aging. 

In the UK, where tea consumption amounts to about 100 million cups per day, there has been a noticeable decline in tea demand, particularly among younger individuals, in the face of growing coffee popularity.

More about aging and tea

Green tea, black tea, white tea, and oolong tea all come from the Camellia sinensis plant, but their unique characteristics are a result of different processing methods.

As discussed previously, these teas are rich in antioxidants, which play a significant role in protecting the body from free radicals, molecules that can damage cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.

Green tea slows aging and heart disease

Green tea is revered for its delicate flavor and health benefits, originating from the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike black or oolong teas, green tea avoids the fermentation process, allowing it to retain most of its natural antioxidants and polyphenols.

Green tea, in particular, is renowned for its high concentration of catechins, a type of antioxidant. These tea compounds contribute significantly to delayed aging and health-promoting qualities.

Cultures around the world consume green tea not just for its refreshing taste but also for its ability to enhance well-being. Research highlights green tea’s potential in improving heart health, aiding weight loss, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Farmers harvest green tea leaves and quickly heat them — either by steaming or pan-firing — to prevent oxidation, preserving their green color and nutrient content. This process also imparts to green tea its characteristic grassy taste and aroma.

In addition to delayed aging, studies have linked the regular consumption of green tea to a reduced risk of heart disease, as it may help in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and improving artery function.

Black tea health and aging benefits

Black tea, the world’s most consumed beverage after water, stands out for its robust flavor and rich history.

Also originating from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same source as green and oolong teas, black tea undergoes a full oxidation process that distinguishes it from its tea counterparts.

This oxidation is responsible for black tea’s dark color and deep, complex flavor profile. The leaves are rolled, exposed to air to initiate oxidation, and then dried, a method that enhances the tea’s caffeine content and antioxidant levels.

Black tea offers numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of stroke, and boosting mental alertness. It’s high in compounds called flavonoids, which can improve heart health.

Drinking black tea has been associated with a reduced risk of stroke, lower blood pressure, and a decrease in LDL cholesterol.

White tea high antioxidants

White tea is celebrated for its subtle flavor and esteemed as the most delicate of all tea varieties, derived from the young leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant.

This tea is minimally processed, undergoing only plucking and drying, which preserves its natural antioxidants and gives it a light, sweet flavor.

Originating from China, particularly the Fujian province, white tea has gained international acclaim for its health benefits and its gentle, nuanced taste.

White tea’s antioxidant properties are renowned for enhancing skin health, reducing the risk of heart disease, and supporting weight loss efforts. It contains lower caffeine levels compared to black and green teas, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a less stimulating beverage.

Oolong tea, enzymes, and delayed aging

Oolong tea occupies a unique position between green and black teas in terms of oxidation. This semi-fermented tea is known for its diverse range of flavors and aromas, from sweet and floral to rich and woody, depending on the degree of oxidation and the crafting technique employed.

The production of oolong tea involves a series of precise steps: withering under the strong sun, bruising to initiate oxidation, curling, and twisting, followed by firing to halt the oxidation process.

This careful handling results in a tea that embodies a complexity of taste and fragrance, showcasing the artisanal skill of the tea maker.

Oolong tea is prized for its depth of flavor and also for its health benefits, including boosting metabolism, aiding in weight management, and enhancing mental alertness.

Mental alertness

Tea is linked to increased mental alertness due to its caffeine content. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that affects the central nervous system, helping to improve concentration, focus, and cognitive function.

Beyond caffeine, tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which is particularly interesting for its effects on the brain. L-theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been found to have a synergistic effect with caffeine in improving brain function.

The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in tea is believed to improve cognitive performance more effectively than caffeine alone. While caffeine stimulates the brain, L-theanine helps to promote relaxation without sedation, leading to a state of calm alertness.

This unique combination can enhance attention, memory, and reaction time. Additionally, L-theanine has been studied for its potential to reduce anxiety, which can further contribute to a focused state of mind.

Dental health 

Tea, particularly green tea, has been recognized for its potential benefits for dental health. Its positive effects on oral hygiene and dental health are attributed to several key components, including fluoride, polyphenols, and catechins.

Fluoride, a natural element found in tea, strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the risk of tooth decay. Meanwhile, polyphenols and catechins, powerful antioxidants in tea, exhibit antibacterial properties that combat oral pathogens responsible for cavities and gum disease.

The antibacterial action of tea extends to controlling the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a key bacterium implicated in plaque formation and tooth decay.

Furthermore, catechins help in reducing inflammation, thereby aiding in the management and prevention of gum disease.

Tea’s contribution to oral health doesn’t stop there; it also plays a role in freshening breath by neutralizing the compounds that cause bad odors.

That said, it’s worth noting that excessive consumption of darker teas might lead to tooth staining due to their tannin content, and very hot tea could potentially harm tooth enamel.


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