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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Green Tea Can Help Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Depression In Elderly

- Monday, December 13, 2010

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at the effects of drinking green tea on 1,058 elderly people with depression symptoms. To their surprise they found a forty-four percent reduction in major depressive symptoms in older people who drank more than four cups of green tea each day compared to those who drank less than one. They saw this effect even after adjusting for variables that could alter the results such as lifestyle and diet.

So why would drinking green tea reduce symptoms of depression? It's tempting to think that the caffeine in green tea could be the reason elderly people feel better after drinking green tea. Caffeine is a stimulant that can temporarily elevate mood. Researchers have another theory. They believe another component in green tea - L-theanine - helps to combat symptoms of depression. One of our amenities include a relaxed environment and we offer tea and relaxation methods to help reduce stress and pick up the moods of our individuals.

What exactly is L-theanine? Well L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that has a soothing, calming effect on people who drink it. Drinking green tea containing theanine has been shown to stimulate production of brain waves known as alpha waves, these are seen when a person is in a relaxed state. It also alters levels of neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine that can affect moods.

Unfortunately, theanine isn't found in large quantities in most American green teas - only in higher quality Japanese green teas. It's also believed that the theanines in green tea may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Despite the caffeine content, many people feel mellow after drinking a cup of green tea. This may be due to the theanine counteracting the effects of the caffeine. While theanine isn’t in high doses in American green teas there are still smaller traces of it, so drinking the tea will still alleviate your mood and make you feel better. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions about assisted living or amenities that we offer at our facilities.