Drinking three cups of tea every day can slow biological ageing.
Regular tea-drinkers are ageing slower than non-tea drinkers, at least according to the standard biological markers such as blood pressure levels, cholesterol, and their body-fat ratio. And these markers start to accelerate when they stopped drinking tea.
Researchers at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China reviewed data from 5998 Britons aged between 37 and 73 and 7931 Chinese, aged between 30 and 79. They were surveyed for their tea-drinking habits, including the type of tea they drank and the number of cups they drank every day, and their answers were compared to their biological markers that signify ageing.
Although previous studies have emphasised the benefits of drinking green tea, the Chinese researchers found that green and black tea, which is more usually consumed by Westerners, had similar health benefits.
Those that showed the greatest benefits were typically male, consumed alcohol and ate a healthy diet. They were also less likely to suffer from insomnia and anxiety.
The optimum amount of tea was three cups a day or six to eight grams of tea leaves, the researchers said.
The researchers suspect that polyphenols in tea are responsible for the anti-ageing effects, as they “modulate gut microbiota, which might have an important effect on regulating age-related changes in immunity, metabolism and cognitive function”.