NEW YORK | Fri Feb 3, 2012 4:00pm EST
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Elderly adults who regularly drink green tea may stay more agile and independent than their peers over time, a large study of Japanese adults suggests.
Green tea contains certain antioxidant chemicals -- particularly a compound known as EGCG -- that may help ward off the body-cell damage that can lead to disease. And researchers have been studying green tea's effects on everything from cholesterol to the risk of certain cancers -- with mixed results so far. For the new study, Japanese researchers looked at a different question: Do green-tea drinkers have any lower risk of frailty and disability as they grow old? Following nearly 14,000 adults age 65 and older, they found that people who drank the most green tea were the least likely to develop "functional disability" over the next three years. Functional disability refers to problems with daily activities like going to the store or doing housework, or difficulty with more-basic needs like dressing and bathing.
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SOURCE: bit.ly/wXuZbl American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online January 25, 2012.