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Green Tea Helps Our Brains – Swiss Study

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A new Swiss study could stimulate an increase in green tea consumption, as researchers at the University of Basel report evidence that green tea extract enhances cognitive functions, in particular our working memory.

The researcher teams of Prof. Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that green tea extract increases the brain’s effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another. This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance: Subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

“Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain,” says Borgwardt.

A previous Chinese study found similar benefits, that green tea affects the generation of brain cells, providing benefits for memory and spatial learning. “There is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain,” said Professor Yun Bai from the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Past studies have shown that (chemicals in) green tea, may disrupt a key step of the Alzheimer’s disease pathway, according to research from the University of Leeds.

And Egyptian researchers have discovered that drinking green tea at the same time as taking antibiotics seems to reduce bacteria’s drug resistance, even in superbug strains, and increase the action of the antibiotics.

An ancient Chinese proverb says: “Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one”. A cup of green tea contains up to 200 mg of catechins, whose biological activity has been mainly attributed to its antioxidant activity.

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