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Why drinking tea can help cope with anxiety? Uncovering the core of how tea drinking regulates depression

Mar 26,2024 | taetea

   Under the dual pressure of work and life, many people often suffer from mental difficulties of one kind or another. Today we will talk about depression, a mental illness that cannot be ignored by contemporary people, and combine it with authoritative academic research in recent years on tea drinking and pleasure, tea drinking and anti-depression, to reveal the role of tea drinking in mood regulation. aspects of its mechanisms, functions and results.

Depression is the most common mental illness among people. Its clinical manifestations include depression, pessimism, guilt, low self-esteem, fatigue, inability to concentrate, insomnia and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can lead to suicide.
The China Mental Health Survey shows that the lifetime prevalence of depressive disorders among adults in my country is 6.8%, of which 3.4% are depression. Currently, there are 95 million people suffering from depression in my country. About 280,000 people commit suicide every year, 40% of whom suffer from depression.

52% of patients do not consider psychological treatment due to cost issues, and patients receiving drug treatment are often troubled by various drug side effects. For example, 45% of patients said they cannot bear to gain weight due to treatment. And the above two methods are ineffective for severe depression.
The treatment of depression does not happen overnight. According to survey results, nearly 72% of people experience recurrence, and poor medication compliance is the primary cause of disease recurrence.

Drinking tea - a new way to regulate depression

   Some data suggest that lifestyle changes, such as smoking less, drinking less alcohol, eating less fatty foods and being more physically active, can reduce the risk of major depression. The study also found that regular tea drinking has a strong linear relationship with the reduction of major depression, and that daily tea drinking can reduce the risk of depression.
   Research has found that among healthy people, those who habitually drink tea daily are 21% less likely to suffer from depression in their lifetime than those who do not drink tea. Compared with not drinking tea or drinking tea regularly, drinking one cup of tea per day was associated with a 41% lower risk of depressive symptoms.

The mechanism of tea drinking in regulating depression

1. Reduce hypothalamic axis overactivity

   The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a feedback loop of stress stress in the human body. If the hypothalamic axis is under stress for a long time and becomes overactive, people will develop symptoms of depression. Tea can reduce hypothalamic axis hyperactivity by significantly reducing adrenocorticotropic hormone and glucocorticoid levels in plasma, and promote the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid and dopamine, thereby acting as an anti-stress/anti-anxiety and mood promoter. effect.

2. Anti-inflammatory

   Inflammatory factors are upregulated in patients with depression, and chronic inflammation exists. The presence of inflammation can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels, and low serotonin levels can aggravate depressive symptoms. A large number of studies have shown that tea can inhibit the expression of inflammatory markers TLR-4, NF-κB, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, and has significant anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Improve monoaminergic system

   Medical research shows that depression is related to a decrease in the excitatory transmission function of monoamine neurotransmitters (excitatory transmitters). Tea can significantly promote the release of monoamine neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine and improve depressive behavior in mice. In addition, tea can also improve the monoaminergic system by changing the intestinal microbiota and promoting the production of short-chain fatty acids, a product of microbial fermentation in the gastrointestinal tract, and has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.

4. Restore neurogenesis and neuroplasticity

   Reduced neurogenesis and reduced plasticity are associated with depression, and counteracting stress-induced reductions in neurogenesis is considered key to antidepressant treatment. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promotes the survival of existing neurons and promotes the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. Research shows that tea can significantly increase the level of BDNF, reverse neuronal damage, promote neurogenesis, and improve the plasticity of the developing hippocampus and cell dendrites, thereby improving anxiety and depression.

Functional components in tea that regulate depression


   Theanine is a special amino acid in the tea tree and very rare in general plants. Theanine in tea generally accounts for more than 50% of the free amino acids in tea, while the content in dry tea is about 1%-2%. The content in some famous and premium teas can exceed 2%. Theanine has the effects of calming, improving sleep, and protecting nerve cells.
   Studies have shown that theanine can reduce the levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and glucocorticoids in plasma, reduce the expression of inflammatory factors, promote monoamine neurotransmitters, significantly increase BDNF levels and granule cell levels, and improve depression through various ways.


   Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which belongs to the ester-type catechins, can reduce neuroinflammation and improve cognition and memory retention.
   Research shows that EGCG can reduce inflammatory indicators in the hippocampus of mice, inhibit the expression of NFκB and p38 kinase (a key regulator in the inflammatory pathway), improve cognitive ability and object recognition memory, and can restore stress-induced neural damage. levels of neurotransmitters dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine; targeting the BDNF signaling pathway to reduce neuronal damage induced by high-fat and high-sugar diet, reduce cognitive impairment, enhance neurogenesis, and inhibit sevoflurane-induced neurodegeneration , improve learning and memory retention.

#gallic acid#

Gallic acid (GA), phenolic acids.
Studies have shown that GA can improve trimethyltin chloride (TMT)-induced anxiety and depression in mouse in vivo models, and increase the cell density of hippocampal CA1, CA2, CA3 and DG subdivisions; and epigallocatechin (EGC ) and GA can effectively induce neurite growth through the blood-brain barrier.

   Drinking tea to regulate depression is indeed very complicated from a physiological perspective. But drinking tea is a healing process in itself! For those who love tea, they can feel the aroma and taste during the drinking process, and gain happiness from the beauty of tea, thereby improving their emotional state and regulating depression.

   Research shows that a regular tea drinker will experience a significant sense of pleasure when preparing to drink a cup of tea.

Drinking tea is something that is good for your body and mind, as well as for yourself and others.

Let’s drink tea happily together, which will bring great benefits to our body and mind!


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