The elixir capable of lengthening life exists, science says so, and it is green tea! In fact, drinking green tea regularly has been shown to rejuvenate our biological age, lengthening our life. This emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in the journal Scientific Reports of the prestigious Nature group thanks to the work of a team of Korean scientists (Sohn et al, Sci Rep, 2023).
What are telomeres and how they determine our age
Telomeres are small DNA sequences found in the final parts of chromosomes, performing a protective sheath action to prevent DNA degradation, just like the plastic part placed at the end of shoelaces. But, for this protective action, there is a price to pay. When the cells replicate, in fact, the telomeres shorten accompanying the cell in its aging process, until, due to the excessive shortening of the telomeres, the cell can no longer replicate and will gradually lose its function until it is removed by the cells of our immune system that act as scavengers. From this we can understand that the longer the telomeres the greater the cellular life and the younger our biological age will be. But can we do something to lengthen the telomeres or is it something that is beyond our control? The good news is that we can implement actions to lengthen telomeres and we talk about it in the next paragraph.
Long life green tea, the study
Previous studies had already led to the hypothesis that green tea could be a drink capable of lengthening telomeres. However, research had always been carried out considering only green tea supplements, equal to more than ten cups of green tea a day, an amount that is difficult to reach within a healthy and varied diet, and for short periods of time. The researchers of the study we are talking about today instead wanted to test the effects of green tea and other drinks, such as soft drinks and coffee, on the length of telomeres considering the cups drunk per day and not supplements. For this purpose, 1952 adults aged less than 65 were recruited. Volunteers had to indicate their daily consumption of green tea, coffee and soft drinks and undergo tests and visits at the beginning of the study period and after 6 years. What emerged was that those who drank at least one cup of green tea a day on a regular basis had longer telomeres than those who drank no green tea at all. This result emerged even more clearly for those who drank 7 cups of green tea a day. Coffee has not been shown to affect telomere length, while soft drinks have been shown to reduce telomere length, with a greater effect on women. The beneficial action of green tea can be traced back to the presence of catechins, which are precious substances with a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action.
Drinking green tea lengthens life, and this is not a belief, this statement now has a solid scientific basis.
Therefore, it is definitely a good choice to include tea in your daily, healthy and balanced diet. Green tea is prepared by bringing the water to 60-70°C.
Then, the tea is added, in tea bags or loose leaves, in this case a teaspoon of leaves per cup plus one, and left to infuse for ten minutes, in order to extract all the beneficial substances. Lower infusion times are indicated when you want to favor the taste of the tea but allow for a lower extraction of antioxidants.