Green Tea Reduce Depression Symptoms

Japanese study found green tea drinkers were 44% less likely to suffer from depression symptoms.

A 2009 study conducted by Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine showed that green tea reduces depression symptoms in elderly population.

Several earlier studies have found that drinking green tea reduces stress. To understand green tea's effect on reducing depression, the researchers studied 1,058 elderly Japanese aged over 70 years who lived in care home.

It makes painful reading. Out of the 1,058 elderly, 35% of the men and 40% of the women suffered from depression. These symptoms were severe in 20% men and in 25% women.

However, those who drank 4 or more cups of green tea daily were 44% less likely to suffer from depression. The protective effect of green tea persists even when the researchers allowed for factors such as:

  • Social and economic status
  • Gender
  • Diet
  • History of medical problems
  • Use of antidepressant medications
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity

The scientists concluded:

A more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the community-dwelling older population.

Green tea component theanine is believed to have a calming effect on the brain. However, further studies are necessary to confirm the antidepressant effects of drinking green tea.

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Niu K, Hozawa A, Kuriyama S, Ebihara S, Guo H, Nakaya N, Ohmori-Matsuda K, Takahashi H, Masamune Y, Asada M, Sasaki S, Arai H, Awata S, Nagatomi R, Tsuji I (2009). Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1615-22. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

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