Alzheimer’s disease causes the death of brain cells, which consequently leads to cognitive decline, as well as memory loss. This is a progressive disease that starts with mild symptoms, and gets worse with time. The disease affects an estimated 10 million individuals worldwide.
So, one might wonder, how can tea protect people from getting Alzheimer’s?
Recent research indicates that green tea could be instrumental in the prevention of this disease. How? Well, green tea inhibits the development of beta-amyloid plaques, which are believed to cause Alzheimer’s in the first place.
Or to be more specific, green tea contains a flavonoid called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This flavonoid binds to the beta-amyloid, and therefore it prevents the formation of the plaque, consequently preventing Alzheimer’s.
Green Tea Case Studies
In one of the studies, an MRI was used to observe the effects of green tea on the beta-amyloids. One part of the participants in the study took green tea, while the other group took a placebo drink. Those who were drinking green tea showed a significant increase in their brain activity. And, the more green tea they took, the more brain activity was observed.
A study published in the year 2014 in the Psychopharmacology, indicated that green tea might be useful in improving the cognitive function. It could, therefore, be instrumental in helping treat patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Half of those participating in the study were given beverages containing green tea extract, while the rest were given beverages containing no extract. Using an MRI, researchers found that participants who had taken drinks with green tea showed increased brain activity in the parts of the brain accountable for memory function.
Alzheimer’s Disease And The Effects Of The Green Tea, Black Tea And Coffee Study
A different study, conducted by researchers from the Medicinal Plant Research Center at the Newcastle University, investigated the properties of black tea, green tea, and coffee. The findings of this research were published in the Phytotherapy Research academic journal.
Even though black and green tea are both derived from the same plant, they have different taste and color. Simply because green tea is fermented. From the study, the researchers found that both, black and green tea, are inhibiting the activity of enzymes believed to influence advancement of Alzheimer’s. Coffee, on the other hand, did not have any significant effect.
Both types of tea have the effect of inhibiting the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme, which is responsible for breaking down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. One of the effects of Alzheimer’s is a drop in the chemical messenger acetylcholine.
Green tea shows even more impressive performance. It was able to interfere with the action of the beta-secretase enzyme, which contributes to the formation of protein deposits, linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea had an inhibitory effect on the enzyme beta-secretase for an entire week, while black tea’s inhibitive abilities lasted for only a day.
Ultimately, all these different researches show that green tea has superior qualities in the fight with Alzheimer’s.
Even though the effects of green tea on the brain are outstanding, more research needs to be done before it can be used for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.