Posted on Dec 28, 2009, 6 a.m.
Older Japanese residents who drank several cups of green tea daily were at reduced risk of experiencing depressive symptoms
In that previous studies have reported that green tea exerts a variety of beneficial effects on stress and inflammation, Kaijun Niu, from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering (Japan), and colleagues investigated the relationship between green tea consumption and depressive symptoms. Studying a group of 1,058 community living elderly Japanese individuals, ages 70 and over, the researchers surveyed green tea consumption and evaluated depressive symptoms via the Geriatric Depression Scale. They found that those study subjects who drank four or more cups of green tea daily were 44% less likely to have symptoms of depression (as compared to subjects who drank one or less cups). The team speculates that the amino acid theanine, present in green tea, which has a calming effect on the brain, may contribute to the beneficial effect seen on depression in this study.
Kaijun Niu, Atsushi Hozawa, Shinichi Kuriyama, Satoru Ebihara, Hui Guo, Naoki Nakaya, Kaori Ohmori-Matsuda, Hideko Takahashi, Yayoi Masamune, Masanori Asada, Satoshi Sasaki, Hiroyuki Arai, Shuichi Awata, Ryoichi Nagatomi, Ichiro Tsuji. “Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly.” Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Dec 2009; 90: 1615 - 1622.