February 6/Tohoku, Japan/American Journal of Clinical Nutrition -- Green tea may be the secret to living a longer, healthier life. Researchers in Japan found that elderly people who drink green tea were more agile than their counterparts who do not drink green tea regularly.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Green tea contains antioxidants that are known to help prevent cell damage.  These antioxidants prevent disease.

“Green tea consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of incident functional disability, even after adjustment for possible confounding factors,” Yasutake Tomata of the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine said.

He and his colleagues found that regular green tea drinkers had more functionality. In turn, they were more independent and able to take care of themselves at an age where many elderly people cannot.

Although they did find a correlation between green tea drinkers and agility, the researchers also note that green tea may not necessarily be the only factor. Generally, people who drink green tea live healthier lives. They exercise more and have healthier diets.

There were 14,000 participants over age 65 in the study. The researchers tracked them for three years.

 From the February 7, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.