There's never been a better reason to switch the kettle on. Drinking a cup of tea each day may substantially lower your risk of dementia, new research suggests.
Consuming the popular beverage reduces the chances of getting the debilitating disease by 50 per cent, scientists found. While those carrying the 'dementia gene' can slash their likelihood of developing toxic clumps in their brain by as much as 86 per cent.
And it doesn't matter whether you prefer green tea or black - it all has the same effect on the brain.
Full of compounds such as catechins and theaflavins, tea leaves are considered to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
These may help to protect the brain from vascular damage and neurodegeneration, according to Dr Feng Lei, of the National University of Singapore.
He said: 'The data from our study suggests that a simple and inexpensive lifestyle measure such as daily tea drinking can reduce a person’s risk of developing neurocognitive disorders in late life.
'Our findings have important implications for dementia prevention.
'Despite high quality drug trials, effective pharmacological therapy for neurocognitive disorders such as dementia remains elusive and current prevention strategies are far from satisfactory.'
The researchers assessed the tea consumption of 957 adults over the age of 55 over a period of 12 years. Every two years, the participants were assessed on their cognitive function using standardised tools. The researchers also collected information on their lifestyles, medical conditions and physical activities.
The findings were published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging.
This comes after scientists claimed in November that three cups of coffee a day can also reduce the risk of dementia. Moderate caffeine consumption is known to prevent the formation of toxic clumps in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease.
But a new report shows long-term intake helps to fill the body with powerful antioxidants that boost cognitive function.
However, it could also prevent Parkinson's and other neurological disorders, an analysis funded by six of Europe's biggest coffee companies found.