The journal of nutrition, health & aging

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 433–438

Cognitive function and tea consumption in community dwelling older Chinese in Singapore

JNHA: Clinical Neurosciences

DOI: 10.1007/s12603-010-0095-9

Cite this article as:
Feng, L., Gwee, X., Kua, E.H. et al. J Nutr Health Aging (2010) 14: 433. doi:10.1007/s12603-010-0095-9



We aimed to examine the relationship between tea consumption and cognitive function in older adults.


Cross-sectional study.


The Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS), a community-based study in urban Singapore.


716 Chinese adults aged ≥ 55 years.


Self-reported current tea consumption habits (frequency and type). Cognitive performance was assessed by a battery of neuropsychological tests; composite domain scores on attention, memory, executive function, and information processing speed were computed using raw test scores. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) total score was used as a measure of global cognitive function.


After adjusting for potential confounders, total tea consumption was independently associated with better performances on global cognition (B=0.055, SE=0.026, p=0.03), memory (B=0.031, SE=0.012, p=0.01), executive function (B=0.032, SE=0.012, p=0.009), and information processing speed (B=0.04, SE=0.014, p=0.001). Both black/oolong tea and green tea consumption were associated with better cognitive performance. There was no association between coffee consumption and cognitive function.


Tea consumption was associated with better cognitive performance in community-living Chinese older adults. The protective effect of tea consumption on cognitive function was not limited to particular type of tea.

Key words


Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer Verlag France 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Feng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • X. Gwee
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. -H. Kua
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. -P. Ng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Gerontological Research Programme, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of MedicineNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Gerontological Research Programme, National University of Singapore, Department of Psychological MedicineNational University HospitalSingaporeSingapore