Good News for Tea Drinkers: Caffeine Key to Longer Life

Drinking tea could delay the aging process, research reveals.

Drinking tea could delay the aging process, research finds.

On the heels of an extensive Harvard study, which last year revealed that coffee drinkers had up to a 15% lower mortality rate than non-coffee drinkers, Chinese scientists have come up with findings that indicate tea drinkers may also live long and prosperously.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Kunming Institute of Botany conducted experiments on Caenorhabditis elegans, or round worms, a species identified as having a similar aging process as humans. The worms were injected with the polyphenol chlorogenic acid (CGA), a chemical that is present in caffeine and abundant in tea, coffee, and honeysuckle. CGA is thought to be responsible for prolonging life.

Researchers found that worms that received the CGA lived as much as 20.1% longer than those that did not, and appeared healthier than the others, with delayed age-related decline of body movement and improved stress resistance. It was concluded that CGA helps develop the immune system to fight bacteria.

It is hoped that the research, published in the May 16 edition of The Journals of Gerontology Series A, will form the basis for developing food additives and drugs that could be used to influence the aging process.

“Coffee and tea are two of the most popular drinks around the world,” the researchers wrote in the paper. “The research on these two drinks has been revealing more and more in common from chemical components to their impacts on human health.”

As well as being present in tea, coffee, and honeysuckle, the antioxidant CGA is also found in prunes, potatoes, and eggplants.

Sources: CirculationThe Journals of Gerontology Series AAsia Pacific