Happy Tea Drinkers

Some studies put a smile on my face, as happened when reading a new meta-analysis of tea drinking’s association with lower risk of depression. As a tea-drinking happy person, I was pleased that eleven studies of 22,817 people reveal that regular tea drinking predicts a 31 percent decreased depression risk.  There is also a dose-response relationship:  the more tea people drink, the less their depression risk.

The analysis was done by researchers in China (where I enjoyed tea at every meal in a recent visit to Beijing).  And with the exception of two Finnish studies, all the research was conducted in tea-drinking Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore). 

Although the finding is correlational, the Hauzhong University researchers did find the association for both green and other teas, and also when controlling for diet, exercise, alcohol, and smoking.  Thus, they conclude, “tea consumption may act as an independent protective factor for depression.  Given that tea is widely consumed, has few documented adverse effects, and is relatively inexpensive, its potential in treating and preventing depression should be recognized.”

Time for my afternoon cuppa . . .