Women and men who daily drink several cups of green tea are less likely to experience depression, according to a study conducted in Japan.

Research conducted at Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering in determined men and women who consumed four or more compared to those who drank less, had over were  44 percent less likely to have depression.

Many studies have found a relationship between diminished emotional distress and green tea consumption.  This caused Dr. Kaijun Niu and colleagues to investigate this association in over 1,000 healthy senior citizens.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition approximately 39 percent of the women and 34 percent of the men reported depression. They were severe in almost 20 percent of the men and 24 per cent of the women.

Almost  a quarter  (488) of the study participants drank more four or more cups of green Several prior studies have linked green tea consumption to reduced levels of psychological distress.  The remainder of the participants drank three cups or less.

Green tea’s protective impact was independent of factors including history of medical illness, antidepressant medication use, smoking, age, sex, physical activity and socio-economic status.

Also, oolong or black tea consumption, or coffee does not reduce depression.

Theanine, a component of green tea known to have a tranquilizing effect on the nervous system, may explain the potentially positive effect found in this study.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November, 2009