Green Tea Improves Memory
September 6, 2012

Boost Your Memory With Green Tea

Connie K. Ho for — Your Universe Online

It´s 8 a.m. in the morning. You feel groggy and need a cup of coffee to wake you up. Instead of reaching out for that mug of java, green tea would be a better option. More and more often, green tea is becoming a popular beverage option for its many different kinds of health benefits. In particular, researchers recently discovered that green tea helps improve brain cell production to boost memory.

The research on green tea´s chemical properties in boosting memory and spatial learning was recently published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. The paper was included in a collection of articles on the topic of food science and technology in China.

"Green tea is a popular beverage across the world," explained Yun Bai, a professor from the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, in a prepared statement. "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 scientists looked at epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), an organic chemical that is an important component of green tea. EGCG is a well-known anti-oxidant that also helps work against degenerative diseases related to aging. The team discovered that EGCG increases the production of neural progenitor cells, which can change and differentiate into different types of cells.

"We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis," continued Bai in the statement. "We focused our research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short-term to long-term memory."

In the study, the investigators utilized laboratory mice to find out whether a boost in cell production would result in benefits in memory and spatial learning.

"We ran tests on two groups of mice, one which had imbibed ECGC and a control group," noted Bai in the statement. "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."

The findings showed that the mice that were treated with ECGC didn´t need as much time to find the hidden platform in the experiment and that EGCG improved learning and memory by elevating object recognition and spatial memory.

"We have shown that the organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells, both in glass tests and in mice," remarked Bai in the statement. "This helps us to understand the potential for EGCG, and green tea which contains it, to help combat degenerative diseases and memory loss."

According to Medical News Today, green tea also has other health benefits. Past studies have shown it can decrease the risk of esophageal cancer, reduce the risk of high blood pressure and slow the development of Alzheimer´s.