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Green Tea and Alzheimer’s Disease

Can Green Tea help to fight Alzheimer’s?

Researchers have found that a component of green tea may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a major antioxidant in green tea that has been widely studied for its reported protection against certain cancers. Now there is also evidence that EGCG decreases production of the protein beta-amyloid, which is related to Alzheimer’s and can accumulate abnormally in the brain, leading to nerve damage and memory loss.

Scientists gave injections of pure EGCG to mice genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s. There was an observed decrease of as much as 54 percent of the brain-clogging Alzheimer’s plaques.

However, they also discovered that other flavonoids found in green tea may work against EGCG’s ability to prevent beta-amyloid buildup, so drinking green tea alone may be insufficient. In addition, the amount of EGCG a patient needs to fight Alzheimer’s is much higher than that found in green tea.

Sources:

The Journal of Neuroscience September 21, 2005; 25 (38): 8807-8814

Science Blog September 21, 2005

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