Natural health enthusiasts have known for years that a fresh brewed cup of green tea provides an antioxidant punch that lowers the risk of developing many deadly lines of cancer, lowers the risk of developing dementia and can even boost metabolism to assist weight loss efforts. Those same health-minded individuals may not know that the super nutrients known as catechins found in green tea also help increase memory recall and cognitive abilities.
A research team from China publishing the results of a study on the journal, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research report that an antioxidant rich cup of green tea helps benefit memory, cognitive abilities and spatial awareness. Regarding green tea consumption, the research authors commented “There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.” Students may want to take note, as performance on exams may be enhanced with a cup or two of green tea beforehand.
Green tea catechins promote neurogenesis to enhance memory and learning capabilities
Researchers concentrated the active polyphenol known as EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate), an organic chemical and main ingredient in green tea known to exhibit brain-protective properties in prior studies. Lead researcher, Dr. Yun Bai noted “We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis.” He and his team found that EGCG promotes the development of neural progenitor cells that contribute to memory retention and enhanced thought capabilities.
Studies involving the brain frequently use a mouse model due to similarities with humans. Mice were split into two groups: the first group was supplemented with an EGCG enhanced drink and the second control group consumed only water. After training for three to seven days on various skills to determine memory and retention, researchers found that the EGCG supplemented mice demonstrated significantly improved memory and learning by helping them to perform advanced skills while improving their spatial memory.
Dr. Bai concluded “We have shown that organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells….this helps us to understand the potential for EGCG, and green tea which contains it, to help combat degenerative diseases and memory loss.” This study provides evidence that green tea catechins (from supplements or three to five fresh brewed cups each day) directly promote neurogenesis, enabling enhanced memory recall and retention to improve cognition and spatial awareness.