Did You Know…that green tea boosts working memory and may stave off dementia?
In a promising new study, researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have proven that green tea extract improves working memory.
The research, based on actual MRI images of brain activity, is crucial for all of us. That’s because memory loss, once thought a harmless effect of aging, is now recognized as an early risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. And dementia is the most frightening epidemic of our time. Therefore, protecting your memory now may be key to preventing dementia later.
More than 5 million Americans now have Alzheimer’s, and every 67 seconds another American is diagnosed. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Source: Alzheimer’s Association of America.
Serious Memory Protection
Green tea is well known to improve brain function, but this new study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, zeroes in on how exactly green tea improves working memory. Working memory is the active, immediate part of your memory system.
Research teams from the University Hospital of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics in Switzerland divided healthy male volunteers into 2 groups.
- The first group drank a milk whey-based soft drink containing 27.5 grams of green tea extract
- The second group received a milk whey-based soft drink without green tea
Volunteers were not told whether their drink contained green tea. Both groups performed working memory tasks after drinking the assigned beverage.
Researchers then used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brain’s response—and the results were fantastic.
Participants given the green tea extract experienced increased connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex. That means these areas of the brain were better able to “talk to” and influence one another.
The frontal lobe is responsible for advanced thinking processes
The parietal lobe translates sensory information and language
Better communication between these lobes led to better cognitive performance on working memory tasks.
More Green Tea, Better Results
In the study described, researchers used an amount of green tea extract that would take several cups of green tea daily to match. However, experts point out that there are no ill effects from green tea, unless you are sensitive to the caffeine.
Experts also recommend that you choose organic green tea whenever possible, and that you steep the tea for at least three minutes to extract the full benefits. Finally, if you cannot acquire a taste for green tea, many experts also recommend green tea supplements. These are widely available in health stores and online.