A recent study analyzed the difference between the brain connectivity of people who drink tea and those who don’t. Although not definitive, the results seem to show a positive correlation between the two.
Brain connectivity refers to the “existence and structural integrity” of pathways linking different brain areas. A recent, small scale study explored the improvement in brain connectivity of tea drinkers. The authors, “explored brain connectivity with both global and regional metrics derived from structural and functional imaging”.
36 volunteers, above the age of 60, were recruited by the researchers, and their physical and psychology history was noted. Each participant was given an MRI scan and a number of neuropsychological tests.
The researchers split the participants into two groups: tea drinkers and non-tea drinkers. When the results of the neuropsychological tests were evaluated, the groups showed no significant difference. However, the connectivity in the tea drinkers had increased drastically. According to the authors, their brains had “greater efficiency in functional and structural connectivities due to increased global network efficiency”.
Assistant Professor Feng Lei elaborated on the findings, saying, “Take the analogy of road traffic as an example — consider brain regions as destinations, while the connections between brain regions are road. When a road system is better organized, the movement of vehicles and passengers is more efficient and uses less resources”.
The information processing ability also showed an improvement in the tea drinkers. Due to the small number of participants, further research is being done on the subject before coming to a definitive conclusion.
This is not the first time research has been done to explore the benefits of tea consumption. A previous study has shown a positive relation between mental health and drinking tea – symptoms of depression were less common in the adults.
Similarly, another research, involving 2051 participants, showed that “regular tea consumption is associated with lower risks of cognitive impairment and decline”.