Green tea has held the equivalent of rock star status in the world of natural health and nutrition for years now. This is largely because new research seems to be coming out all the time that finds yet more ways in which the regular consumption of green tea can benefit the body. So far, science has linked green tea drinking to a boosted metabolism, increased ease of weight loss, improved heart health, reduced cancer risk and stronger immunity, just to name a few. This is largely due to the large number of anti-oxidants, catechins and other bioactive compounds that green tea has in abundance. So it should probably come as no surprise that new evidence has emerged which links the use of green tea with another great health benefit: An improvement in working memory and general brain power as well. Read on to find out more about this latest intriguing research.
Swiss study uncovers brain-boosting power of green tea
This new research is coming out of the University of Basel in Switzerland, where Swiss scientists have been looking at the correlation between green tea consumption and better cognitive functions, including working memory. These findings, which used green tea extract on participants and then studying various aspects of their brain power, was recently published in the journal Psychopharmacology and appears to be a promising beginning for natural treatments to be developed in the future that will help with memory loss and other forms of cognitive dysfunction naturally.
These are some of the same bioactive compounds in green tea that have been so extensively studied in regards to cancer, especially breast cancer in women. However, this is the first time that the cognitive benefits of these compounds have been thoroughly studied in regards to brain health and function.
What the researchers found
This study was involved a team of scientists led by Professor Christoph Beglinger of the University Hospital in Basel and Professor Stefan Borgwardt, who is associated with the Psychiatric University Clinic. It found that the reason green tea extract was able to improve brain function was because of its positive effect on brain connectivity: In other words, bioactive compounds made communication between different parts of the brain easier and more rapid. This better communication led to better brain performance, especially in areas like working memory: Participants scored significantly better on their tests after ingesting green tea extract.
Specifically, this study looked at a group of otherwise healthy men and gave them a beverage containing green tea extract before going through a series of tests to measure cognitive performance. Analysis through MRIs found that the men had increased communication between the frontal cortex and parietal lobe of the brain and it was this that was likely responsible for the enhanced mental performance.
This research might open up exciting new opportunities for research, especially in the area of geriatrics, where numbers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia continue to grow. With further development, these findings might eventually translate into a natural remedy for those who struggle with memory loss and other cognitive challenges.