Regular green tea consumption appears to be associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline, according to a study of more than 1000 Japanese adults in their 70s. Those who drank two or more cups of green tea a day were half as likely to show signs of cognitive impairment as those who drank three cups or less a week, with an average of one cup a day showing a risk roughly halfway between the two other groups.

Although the study was not able to demonstrate a clear connection between drinking green tea and maintaining mental acuity, it may help explain why there is less dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, in Japan compared to Europe and North America. (Kuriyama S et al. Green tea consumption and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study from the Tsurugaya Project 1. Am. J. Clinical Nutrition, Feb 2006; 83: 355-361).