Cognitive function and tea consumption in community dwelling older Chinese in Singapore

J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Jun;14(6):433-8. doi: 10.1007/s12603-010-0095-9.


Objectives: We aimed to examine the relationship between tea consumption and cognitive function in older adults.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: The Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS), a community-based study in urban Singapore.

Participants: 716 Chinese adults aged > or = 55 years.

Measurement: Self-reported current tea consumption habits (frequency and type). Cognitive performance was assessed by a battery of neuropsychological tests; composite domain scores on attention, memory, executive function, and information processing speed were computed using raw test scores. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) total score was used as a measure of global cognitive function.

Results: After adjusting for potential confounders, total tea consumption was independently associated with better performances on global cognition (B=0.055, SE=0.026, p=0.03), memory (B=0.031, SE=0.012, p=0.01), executive function (B=0.032, SE=0.012, p=0.009), and information processing speed (B=0.04, SE=0.014, p=0.001). Both black/oolong tea and green tea consumption were associated with better cognitive performance. There was no association between coffee consumption and cognitive function.

Conclusions: Tea consumption was associated with better cognitive performance in community-living Chinese older adults. The protective effect of tea consumption on cognitive function was not limited to particular type of tea.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Beverages*
  • China / ethnology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Singapore
  • Tea* / chemistry


  • Tea