An Easy Way to Improve Memory and Spatial Awareness
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.
Green Tea Catechins Promote Neurogenesis to Enhance Memory and Learning Capabilities
A research team from China published the results their study in the journal, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, reporting that an antioxidant-rich cup of green tea helps benefit memory, cognitive abilities and spatial awareness. Regarding green tea consumption, the research authors note “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 well, as performance on exams may be enhanced with a cup or two of green tea beforehand (which may be, in part, due to the L-Theanine content in green tea).
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 promoted the development of neural progenitor cells that contribute to memory retention and enhanced thought capabilities.
Studies Recommend Supplemental Green Tea Extracts or Three to Five Cups Daily to Support Brain Health
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.
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John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.
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Article updated on: January 7th, 2013