Tea Consumption and Depression from Follow Up in the Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Study.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2021 ;25(3):295-301. PMID: 33575719
T P Ng
OBJECTIVES: Experimental evidence suggest that tea polyphenols have anti-depressant effect and tea consumption may reduce the risk and severity of depression. We investigated whether tea consumption was associated with changes in depressive symptoms over time among Asian older adults.
DESIGN: Population-based prospective cohort study with mean 4 years of follow up.
SETTING: Singapore Longitudinal Ageing Study (SLAS) of community-living older persons.
PARTICIPANTS: 3177 participants overall (mean age 67 years) and 3004 participants who were depression-free at baseline.
MEASUREMENTS: Baseline tea consumption which include Chinese (black, oolong or green) tea or Western (mixed with milk) tea and change in Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) measure of depression. Incident depression was defined by GDS≥5, and GDS depression improvement or deterioration by GDS change of ≥4 points. Estimated odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95%CI) were adjusted for baseline age, sex, ethnicity, education, housing type, single/divorced/widowed, living alone, physical and social activity, smoking, alcohol, number of comorbidities, MMSE, and baseline GDS level.
RESULTS: Compared to non-tea drinkers, participants who consumed≥3 cups of tea of all kinds were significantly less likely to have worsened GDS symptoms: OR=0.32, 95% CI=0.12, 0.84. Among baseline depression-free participants, the risk of incident GDS (≥5) depression was significantly lower (OR=0.34, 95%CI=0.13, 0.90) for daily consumption of all types of tea, and Chinese (black, oolong or green) tea (OR=0.46, 95%CI=0.21,0.99).
CONCLUSION: This study suggests that tea may prevent the worsening of existing depressive symptoms and the reduce the likelihood of developing threshold depression.