October 13/Islamabad, Pakistan/Right Vision News -- Elderly men and women who drink several cups of green tea every day are less likely to be depressed.
Several earlier studies have linked green tea consumption to lower levels of psychological stress. To look at the association between drinking green tea and symptoms of depression, researchers studied 1,058 relatively healthy elderly Japanese aged 70 years and above, BBC radio reported.
About 35% of the men and 40% of the women had symptoms of depression. These symptoms were severe in about 20% of men and in about 25% of women. Overall, 488 participants said they drank four or more cups of green tea daily, 284 said they drank two to three cups daily, and the remaining 286 reported having one or fewer cups daily.
It was found that men and women who drank four or more, versus one or fewer, cups of green tea daily were 44% less likely to have symptoms of depression.
The protective effect of greater green tea consumption on symptoms of depression did not fade even when the researchers factored in social and economic status, gender, diet, history of medical problems, use of antidepressant medications, smoking, and physical activity.
By contrast, there was no association between consumption of black or oolong tea, or coffee, and lower symptoms of depression.
A green tea component, the amino acid theanine, thought to have a tranquilizing effect on the brain, could explain the potentially beneficial effect shown in the current study.
However, further studies are necessary to confirm the antidepressant effects of drinking green tea.
From the October 18, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition