A common beverage may be able to protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain health. Several studies show that green tea has the potential to protect brain cells, improve memory and delay Alzheimer’s. The affordable and accessible drink has shown promise in research in recent years.
Studies show that green tea could prevent Alzheimer’s by protecting the brain from the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that are thought to cause the disease. A flavonoid in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) can bind to beta-amyloid proteins to prevent formations, and ultimately, prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
While research has shown the effects of green tea on beta-amyloids, one of the most notable studies used MRI technology to actually view its effect. Participants in the study were given either a green tea or a placebo beverage, and their brain activity was then monitored using an MRI machine. Those who received the green tea drink had a notable increase in brain activity, and researchers also found a “dose-response” in the participants, meaning brain activity increased as more green tea was consumed.
A new study published in Psychopharmacology in March 2014 found that green tea can actually help improve cognitive function and may be useful in treating patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. In the study, half of the participants were given a drink that had green tea extract and the other half were given the same drink with no extract.
Again, using MRI technology, researchers observed that the participants who drank the tea with the extract showed increased brain activity in the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory function.
Due to the success of these studies, researchers plan to do more to test the potential of green tea in treating cognitive impairments like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
While studies of the effects of green tea on brain health look promising, there is a lot of work to be done before it can actually be used as a treatment method for Alzheimer’s patients.
For starters, the disease’s main fighting ingredient found in green tea, ECGC, isn’t available for patenting by pharmaceutical companies which will limit investment for clinical trials. Also, more research needs to be done to determine the direct link between brain health and ECGC to rule out any other ingredients that may have had an effect on cognition, such as caffeine.
Do you drink green tea for brain health? Have you noticed an improvement in your memory? Share your story with us in the comments below.
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