Happy Tea Drinkers

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Originally posted on May 28, 2015.

Some studies put a smile on my face, as happened when reading a new meta-analysis of tea drinking’s association with lower risk of depression. As a tea-drinking happy person, I was pleased that eleven studies of 22,817 people reveal that regular tea drinking predicts a 31 percent decreased depression risk.  There is also a dose-response relationship:  the more tea people drink, the less their depression risk.

The analysis was done by researchers in China (where I enjoyed tea at every meal in a recent visit to Beijing).  And with the exception of two Finnish studies, all the research was conducted in tea-drinking Asia (China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore).

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Although the finding is correlational, the Hauzhong University researchers did find the association for both green and other teas, and also when controlling for diet, exercise, alcohol, and smoking.  Thus, they conclude, “tea consumption may act as an independent protective factor for depression.  Given that tea is widely consumed, has few documented adverse effects, and is relatively inexpensive, its potential in treating and preventing depression should be recognized.”

Time for my afternoon cuppa...

About the Author
David Myers has spent his entire teaching career at Hope College, Michigan, where he has been voted “outstanding professor” and has been selected by students to deliver the commencement address. His award-winning research and writings have appeared in over three dozen scientific periodicals and numerous publications for the general public. He also has authored five general audience books, including The Pursuit of Happiness and Intuition: Its Powers and Perils. David Myers has chaired his city's Human Relations Commission, helped found a thriving assistance center for families in poverty, and spoken to hundreds of college and community groups. Drawing on his experience, he also has written articles and a book (A Quiet World) about hearing loss, and he is advocating a transformation in American assistive listening technology (see www.hearingloop.org).