Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;90(6):1615-22. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28216. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


Background: Green tea is reported to have various beneficial effects (eg, anti-stress response and antiinflammatory effects) on human health. Although these functions might be associated with the development and progression of depressive symptoms, no studies have investigated the relation between green tea consumption and depressive symptoms in a community-dwelling population.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the relations between green tea consumption and depressive symptoms in elderly Japanese subjects who widely consumed green tea.

Design: We conducted a cross-sectional study in 1058 community-dwelling elderly Japanese individuals aged >or=70 y. Green tea consumption was assessed by using a self-administered questionnaire, and depressive symptoms were evaluated by using the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale with 2 cutoffs: 11 (mild and severe depressive symptoms) and 14 (severe depressive symptoms). If a participant was consuming antidepressants, he or she was considered to have depressive symptoms.

Results: The prevalence of mild and severe and severe depressive symptoms was 34.1% and 20.2%, respectively. After adjustment for confounding factors, the odds ratios (95% CI) for mild and severe depressive symptoms when higher green tea consumption was compared with green tea consumption of <or=1 cup/d were as follows: 2-3 cups green tea/d (0.96; 95% CI: 0.66, 1.42) and >or=4 cups green tea/d (0.56; 95% CI: 0.39, 0.81) (P for trend: 0.001). Similar relations were also observed in the case of severe depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: A more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the community-dwelling older population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Tea*


  • Tea