Are you concerned that as you age you will lose your ability to recall treasured memories and important facts? Do you already struggle to remember what happened yesterday or last week?
New research shows that drinking green tea can sharpen your memory and help your brain function better.
Research teams led by Professor Christoph Beglinger of the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland and Professor Stefan Borgwardt of the Psychiatric University Clinics, also in Switzerland, have released the results of a new study showing that drinking green tea improves the brain’s thinking processes and has the potential to treat dementia-related cognitive difficulties.
Green tea is full of antioxidants, giving it a unique ability to support and increase cognitive function. During processing, green tea leaves are steamed and do not become oxidized, like other tea leaves. This type of processing preserves the natural benefits within the green tea leaves, making them much healthier than other types of tea.
For the University Hospital of Basel study, 12 healthy male participants were given a soft drink that included 27.5 grams of green tea extract. After drinking their soft drink, each participant was asked to complete a series of tasks targeting their working memory. As participants performed these tasks, researchers monitored their brain activity using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
A greater connectivity between the right superior parietal lobe and frontal cortex of the brain was shown on the MRI. This greater connectivity refers to the influence that one area of the brain has over another.
These MRI findings were consistent with the participants’ ability to perform memory-related tasks. After drinking the green tea, participants were able to perform their memory-related tasks better.
Professor Stefan Borgwardt pointed out, “Our findings provide first insights into the neural effect of green tea on working memory processing at the neural network level, suggesting a mechanism on short-term plasticity of interregional brain connections.”
The results of this study give researchers hope that green tea could one day be used as an effective treatment for dementia-related cognitive impairments.
Previous studies have also demonstrated that the powerful antioxidants found in green tea are able to stop the growth of cancer cells. The compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) was pinpointed by Purdue University researchers as the source of green tea’s power to fight cancerous cells during a study on the effects of green tea consumption and cancer.
Drinking green tea has also been linked to stronger bones, improved immune function, and healthier gums.
The EGCg within green tea makes bone growth-promoting enzymes more active and produce stronger bones. Research has also demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory nature of green tea helps prevent the development of periodontal disease and gives you better dental health overall.
Oregon State University researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute have found that EGCg boosts immune function, protecting the body from autoimmune disease. EGCg helps the body to produce more regulatory T cells, which prevent the destruction of healthy cells.
These findings lead researchers to believe that green tea could be used to replace the dangerous prescription medicines currently used to treat autoimmune diseases.
SOURCES: http://health.yahoo.net/articles/healthcare/common-beverage-improves-memory-and-new-study-shows-how;http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140407101545.htm; Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net