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Tea Compounds May Improve Attention

A recent study may add yet another benefit to the large and ever growing list of the benefits of tea. The study was conducted by researchers with Unilever and found that as little as one cup of tea may improve mental focus.

The findings were published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Appetite,

29 healthy tea or coffee drinkers with an average age of 30 participated in the randomized, double-blind study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups.

The first group consumed a drink containing 97 milligrams of a compound in tea called L-theanine and 40 mg of caffeine mixed with an ice tea powder in water. The second group consumed a placebo drink containing just water and the iced tea powder.

The participants completed cognitive tests at the start of the study and 10 and 60 minutes after drinking.

The researchers noted a significant improvement in attention levels in the group who drank the L-theanine and caffeine drink compared to the placebo group.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that a combination of l-theanine and caffeine at levels found in just one type of tea can effectively improve attention.

Beyond improving attention, tea has also been shown to improve heart health, mood and may even reduce the risk of dementia.

Caffeine and l-theanine play a significant role in many of the benefits associated with tea but tea is also high in strong antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds protect our cells from dangerous free radicals and a recent study even found that the cells of regular tea drinkers actually have a younger biological age than non tea drinkers.

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