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Benefits of Green Tea: This time on Memory

 

This month new evidence has emerged that confirms the benefits of green tea.

It has been thought for some time that green tea can assist various aspects of health, and a lot of research has been put into its benefits against various cancers. Now reports have emerged that green tea can really help brain power and has particular effect on working memory, something of real interest to many of us as we get older.

Laterlife decided to try and find out more.  Research on green tea has been going on across the world for some time but it seems little specific research has been undertaken on its effect on cognitive functions (or brain power).

Recently, however, a team led by two eminent medical professors in Switzerland have been conducting research specifically measuring the benefits of green tea on our brains and especially on our memory; and the results appear quite exciting.

The research was undertaken under the leadership of Professor Christoph Beglinger of the University Hospital of Basel and Professor Stefan Borgwardt from their Psychiatric University Clinics.

Their team undertook a variety of studies involving a group of healthy males. Each received a soft drink which contained several grams of specific green tea extract before they were given a variety of working memory tasks. These tasks were chosen to indicate different areas of the brain’s connectivity and how one part of the brain influences another.  The results were analyzed using magnetic resonance imaging and the results showed clear evidence of increased connectivity between parts of the brain.  In specific response to this, the related tasks being undertaken by the participants all improved.

It is a very complex area for lay people to understand. When Professor Borgwardt commented: “Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” I was totally lost. But further investigation confirms this research shows that green tea helps various parts of the brain to connect with each other; especially between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. 

Overall, this research does indicate promising clinical implications and the team confirm that green tea could prove really beneficial in conditions such as dementia.

More information is required because the green tea used in this research was “green tea extract” which could mean quite substantial quantities and hopefully more information will be available soon. But in the meantime it does seem that green tea provides perhaps more health benefits that originally thought.

 


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The above article is part of the features section of laterlife.com called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to laterlife.com written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

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