Almost everyone knows about green tea – Chinese medicine practitioners claim that it calms the qi, housewives swear by its ability to clear oil and help people lose weight. However, a recent study shows that this often-consumed beverage can also improve memory.
“Green tea is a popular beverage across the world,” said Professor Yun Bai from the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.
“There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain,” he said.
Professor Bai’s team demonstrated this effect in mice – They proposed that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an organic compound found in green tea, had the ability to promote proliferation of neural progenitor cells in mice, and in turn improve memory.
“We ran tests on two groups of mice, one which had imbibed EGCG and a control group. First the mice were trained for three days to find a visible platform in their maze. Then they were trained for seven days to find a hidden platform,” said Bai.
While EGCG is a known anti-oxidant, the team believed it can also have a beneficial effect against age-related degenerative diseases. The study showed that EGCG treated mice required less time to find the hidden platform, which revealed that EGCG has the potential to enhance learning and memory by improving object recognition and spatial memory.
“There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.”
The study by Professor Bai’s team was recently published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.
- Wiley Asia – “Brainy Beverage: Study Reveals How Green Tea Boosts Brain Cell Production to Aid Memory”
- Yanyan Wang, Maoquan Li, Xueqing Xu, Min Song, Huansheng Tao, Yun Bai, ‘Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and sonic hedgehog pathway activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis,” Mol. Nutr. Food Res., Wiley, 2012, DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201200035
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