tea reduces risk of depression for seniors

Depression becomes an especially pronounced problem for seniors. About 7% of older adults suffer from depression. But something as simple, inexpensive, pleasant and healthy as tea may contribute to the solution.

Research has already established a connection between drinking tea and avoiding depression. A meta-analysis of eleven studies and 22,817 people found that people who drink more tea have 31% lower risk of depression than people who drink little tea. People who drink three cups a day have an even higher 37% reduced risk (Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2015;49(4):334-45).

But does that promise hold specifically for seniors? New research in China has found that it does. Older people who frequently and consistently drink tea suffer significantly less depression: drinking tea provides strong protection against depression. In this study, the protection though only applied to men. And you have to drink tea on an almost daily basis: you can’t just use it as a quick antidepressant when your feeling blue.

It is not clear why men benefited more than women in this study. The authors consider that the men in the study may have been healthier, that men may drink more tea, and that men may drink their tea stronger and, therefore, get higher concentrations of the antidepressant constituents.

Other research has shown that tea drinking benefits the brains of seniors in other ways too, including cognitive benefits like fighting dementia and Alzheimer’s.


BMC Geriatrics 2019;19:246


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For much more on treating and preventing depression, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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