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Green Tea Has Lasting Effect On Human Memory

Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage on the planet after water, so it comes as a relief to many to know that most types of tea leaves are good for the human body, although some more than others. Green tea, for example, is one such tea that has been praised for its benefits before; many drinkers, dietitians, researchers, and even doctors have claimed that the high antioxidant level in a cup of unaltered green tea has major anti-aging benefits among other things. Now, evidence has come to show that drinking green tea may also make large scale improvements on your working memory, which may explain why so many scholars have turned to this beverage over the years for clarity and focus. 

Recent Research and Publications

The most recent research on this subject has been carried out in Switzerland, where Professor Christoph Beglinger and Professor Stefan Borgwardt of Basel University and Hospital have suggested that green tea may not only be an aid in memory retention, but could actually be used to prevent and treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia. Medical News Today explains: “Previous studies have also suggested that green tea may have a beneficial impact on the brain's cognitive functions. However, according to the researchers of this most recent study, the exact mechanisms behind this claim have been unclear.”

Other research performed on the health benefits of green tea have found that the makeup of this beverage may reduce chances of certain types of cancers as well as fighting stroke. The findings of the two Swiss Professors have been published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The Memory Study

In order to get to the bottom of whether or not green tea really played a role in memory and could in fact assist in the above mentioned neurological disorders, the research team assembled a panel of volunteers with a mean age of 24.1 years. 12 healthy men were selected to participate and they were given a soft drink made up of a whey mixture and exactly 27.5g of green tea extract. The men who participated in this test had no idea what they were drinking when given the beverage, and were required to complete a number of different tasks related to memory function after consuming the drink. An MRI was used to measure activity in the memory center of the brain as they did so, and the magnetic resonance imaging device showed that those members of the study who had drank the tea mix had substantially improved right superior parietal lobule and other regions of the brain that determine working memory levels such as the frontal cortex.

Treating Disorders

Dementia is still a puzzle to the scientific community, and although there have been some medications created to try and slow the disease; there’s no cure for this debilitating neurological disorder. For this reason, finding that green tea extract might help the condition, even only in a small way, means a lot in the medical community, but especially for patients and family members of patients. Unfortunately, the study that was concluded does leave some questions unanswered and medical science does have many limitations that disallow the full capacity of this testing to be realized. One of the issues that researchers have mentioned is that fact that the mixture contained green tea extract, but was not entirely made up of green tea, which means that simply sipping a cup of green tea in the evening might have a different effect due to levels of caffeine or the lack of other components in the mix.

Other Benefits

Other than the above mentioned anti-aging benefits of green tea, a recently published study performed by the Agricultural Sciences Department at Penn State University have suggested that green tea extract along with exercise can cause a huge reduction in body weight when trying to cut pounds. The study was conducted over a sixteen week period, and used mice who were fed a high fat diet. When these test mice ingested the extract there was a 27.1% loss in body mass. There was also a significant decrease in plasma insulin levels, fasting blood sugar levels, and an overall improvement of 65% in diabetic health. Jeff Mulhollem of State Penn University News reports: “Mice that ingested green tea extract but did not exercise or those that exercised but were not given green tea extract experienced less significant changes in weight and health measurements, noted lead researcher Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science.”

This is an important discovery as thirty-four percent of the adult population, living in the United States of America, are considered to be obese. Most doctors and scientists recommend a life change as the best method of dealing with obesity, but these results from green tea extracts on mice might help improve chances of slimming at a quicker pace.

Past to Present

Before it became a popular morning beverage, green tea was used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicinal treatments as a method of halting bleeding of wounds, as well as to heal those wounds, and promote the inner workings of the digestive tract. Modern physicians no longer use green tea as a coagulant, but they do use it for a number of other medical issues. Harvard Medical School Health Publications says: “Tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. “

In order to gain these benefits from an average cup of tea, the drinker must consume roughly 3 cups per day, and 3 to 5 minutes of steeping the leaves in boiling water is a necessary role in creating this drink, in order to release catechins and make the tea worth drinking. The same effects won’t be seen for people who consume bottles of modified, flavored iced green tea, as the molecular structure is sometimes compromised.

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