Drinking black tea provides a variety of health advantages that can last a lifetime. However, in an unexpected discovery, Edith Cowan University-led research shown that it may also consistently predict dementia. Flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds present in many common foods and drinks such as black and green tea, apples, almonds, citrus fruit, berries, and more, are the key, according to the study, which was published in the journal “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.” They’ve long been recognised to offer several health advantages, but recent Edith Cowan University (ECU) study suggests they could be much better than previously thought.
The Heart Foundation funded a research of 881 elderly women (median age 80) that discovered they were considerably less likely to develop severe abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) if they drank a high amount of flavonoids in their diet.
AAC is the calcification of the abdominal aorta, the main artery in the body that transports oxygenated blood from the heart to the abdominal organs and lower extremities, and it is a risk factor for cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.
It’s also been shown to be a good predictor of late-life dementia. According to Ben Parmenter, an ECU Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute researcher and study lead, while there were numerous dietary sources of flavonoids, some had unusually high quantities.
“In most populations, a small group of foods and beverages — uniquely high in flavonoids — contribute the bulk of total dietary flavonoid intake,” he said.
“The main contributors are usually black or green tea, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, red wine, apples, raisins/grapes and dark chocolate.”
There are several other kinds of flavonoids, such as flavan-3-ols and flavonols, which appear to have a link with AAC, according to the study.
Participants in the study who consumed more total flavonoids, flavan-3-ols, and flavonols were 36-39 percent less likely to have widespread AAC. Black tea was the primary source of total flavonoids in the research sample, and it was also related with a considerably decreased risk of widespread AAC.
Participants who drank two to six cups of tea per day had a 16-42 percent lower likelihood of having extensive AAC when compared to those who did not consume tea. Other dietary sources of flavonoids, such as fruit juice, red wine, and chocolate, did not, however, reveal a significant favourable connection with AAC.
Though black tea was the study’s major source of flavonoids (owing to the participants’ age), Mr Parmenter stated people might still benefit from flavonoids without brewing a cup.
“Out of the women who don’t drink black tea, higher total non-tea flavonoid intake also appears to protect against extensive calcification of the arteries,” he said.
“This implies flavonoids from sources other than black tea may be protective against AAC when tea is not consumed.”
Mr. Parmenter believes this is significant because it allows non-tea drinkers to benefit from flavonoids in their diet.
“In other populations or groups of people, such as young men or people from other countries, black tea might not be the main source of flavonoids,” he said.
“AAC is a major predictor of vascular disease events, and this study shows intake of flavonoids, that could protect against AAC, are easily achievable in most people’s diets.”