The researchers examined data from nearly 14,000 British and Chinese volunteers.
They found that “moderate tea consumption” had the “greatest anti-aging benefits”
It may have fallen out of favor among coffee-loving millennials, but scientists believe drinking tea could help you live longer.
Three cups of tea a day could slow down biological aging, according to a study.
Chinese researchers believe the apparent anti-aging benefits could be due to the powerful compounds hiding in a cup of tea.
Research has long shown that black tea is rich in substances linked to better heart, gut, and brain health.
Animal studies have also suggested that flavonoids (a compound rich in tea) can extend lifespan in worms, flies and even mice.
Now, Chinese researchers have discovered that these bioactive substances could help reduce age-related cellular damage and support the body’s metabolism and immune system.
Experts from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, analyzed data from 5,998 Britons aged 37 to 73, as well as 7,931 people aged 30 to 79 in China.
They were asked about their tea drinking habits, including the type consumed (such as green, black, yellow, or oolong (a traditional Chinese tea)) and the typical number of cups they drank per day.
The team then compared markers of aging between the participants, including blood pressure, cholesterol and body fat percentage, to calculate their biological age.
The researchers found that tea drinkers “exhibited” patterns that indicated slower biological aging.
These participants were “more likely” to be male, consume alcohol, and maintain a healthier diet.
They were also less likely to experience symptoms of insomnia and anxiety.
writing in the diary The Lancet Regional Health – Western PacificThe scientists said: “The exposure-response relationship suggested that consuming about three cups of tea or six to eight grams of tea leaves per day may offer the most obvious anti-aging benefits.”
They added: “Moderate tea consumption showed the greatest anti-aging benefits among consistent tea drinkers.”
Those who stopped drinking tea also showed a “greater increase” in biological acceleration of aging.
Polyphenols, the main bioactive substances in tea, “have been reported to modulate the gut microbiota, which could have an important effect in regulating age-related changes in immunity, metabolism and cognitive function,” they noted. .
While the researchers did not examine whether certain types of tea affected biological aging, there were no “substantial differences” between tea drinkers in the United Kingdom and China, where black tea and green tea are the most common, respectively.
It also didn’t matter if they liked their tea piping hot or preferred the cup to be cold.
But they also acknowledged that they did not record the size of the teacups used by the participants.
The study was only observational, so it cannot prove that tea consumption was responsible for slowing biological aging.
Britons collectively consume 100 million cups a day, but demand, especially among young people, has fallen in recent years amid growing demand for coffee.