Green tea could help pensioners stay fit, according to a study.

Those who drank the beverage stayed more physically active than their peers, researchers
found. Coffee and standard tea did not provide this benefit.

Researchers tracked the health of almost 14,000 men and women aged 65-plus for three years, noting what they ate and drank and factoring in data on any care they needed.

The more green tea they consumed, the more mobile and self-sufficient they were.


Those who got through at least five cups a day were 33 per cent less likely to develop a disability than those who drank less than one cup. Three to four cups a day cut the risk by a quarter, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported.

Green tea drinkers fared better as they grew older even taking into account that they generally had healthier diets, lower smoking rates, were better educated and had more friends and family to rely on, the Tokyo University study found.

It is not clear why green tea gives such a boost to health. But it does contain high levels of polyphenols, plant chemicals thought to cut cholesterol and protect DNA from damage. These are found at much lower levels in normal tea or in coffee.

However, the drink should be avoided by those taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin as the vitamin K in it can stop the drug from working properly.