Tea and cognitive health in late life: current evidence and future directions

J Nutr Health Aging. 2012 Jan;16(1):31-4. doi: 10.1007/s12603-011-0139-9.


This review summarizes the literature on the association between tea consumption and cognitive health in late life. Population-based studies reviewed in this article suggest that tea drinking has beneficial effects on cognitive function of elderly persons. However, a cause-effect relationship between tea consumption and cognitive decline and dementia could not be drawn given inconsistent findings from only two longitudinal cohort studies. The neuroprotective effects of tea consumption could be due to catechins, L-theanine and other compounds in tea leaves. More longitudinal observational study is needed. Information on life-time tea consumption and blood concentrations of catechins and L-theanine could be collected in future studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / prevention & control
  • Dementia / prevention & control
  • Glutamates / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Glutamates
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • theanine
  • Catechin