Did you know…that green tea has been shown to be an effective treatment for dementia?
Green tea has been a staple of the Chinese diet for more than 5,000 years, but Westerners have been slower to adopt the healthy brew. Made from the plant camellis sinensis, green tea goes through an oxidation process that converts its leaves into a brewing tea.
Numerous studies have attested to green tea’s longevity-enhancing properties; it protects against heart disease…lowers cholesterol…prevents diabetes…and promotes weight loss. A recent study now shows how green tea also reduces and can be a treatment for dementia along with helping to fight cancer.
A Powerful Antioxidant
Green tea is fortified with compounds called catechins (EGCG), which are potent antioxidants that neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals which, if left unmonitored, can create illness and disease. The question that has always puzzled scientists is how well these antioxidants work when digested.
Are they able to be absorbed by the body when digested, and if so, do they still work at their most optimal?
A study conducted by scientists at Newcastle University in England and published in the journal Phytomedicine answers that question with a firm, “yes.” It turns out that the compounds in green tea become even more powerful when enhanced by post-digestive enzymes in the stomach.
A Treatment for Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is a slow-to-progress and irreparable condition that results in increasing loss of cognitive function. It has been widely recognized among members of the medical establishment that Alzheimer’s is brought on by harmful free radicals, as well as the body’s failure to remove damaging beta-amyloid proteins that form brain tumors.
Previous research has shown that antioxidants in both green and black tea possess neuro-protective properties and are able to connect to beta-amyloid proteins. Using a high tech system that imitates the human digestive system, the research team, led by Dr. Ed Okello, expanded on this research, subjecting different concentrations of these toxic compounds to digested green tea molecules.
Scientists found that green tea antioxidants bind to toxins like magnets, rendering these dementia-promoting free radicals harmless. Green tea effectively keeps toxins from destroying normal brain cells.
Green Tea Fights Cancer
Scientists discovered that the compounds in green tea also help slow the growth of cancer cells.
“What was really exciting about this study was that we found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development than the undigested form of the tea,” Dr Okello explained. “In addition to this, we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumor cells which we were using in our experiments.”
Doctors recommend drinking 2 to 4 cups of green tea a day to get the full benefit of this therapeutic beverage. There are many different varieties of green tea: the Chinese varieties, such as jasmine green tea and dragonwell tea; Ceylonese green tea; and the Japanese varieties, such as sencha, bancha—and matcha tea, which has been found to have 137 times the health benefits of other types of green tea.