New Study Finds this Popular Tea may Prevent Alzheimer's
In a recently published article in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have discovered that a component of green tea prevented Alzheimer's-like damage in the brains of mice genetically programmed to develop the disease.
The component, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate ( EGCG ), is a major antioxidant in green tea and has been widely studied for its reported protection against certain cancers.
What EGCG Does and Why It May Work?
EGCG decreases production of beta-amyloid, an Alzheimer's-related protein. This protein is shown to abnormally accumulate in the brain leading to nerve damage and memory loss.
EGCG appears to block the build-up of beta-amyloid.
How the Study was Conducted
Alzheimer's induced mice were given daily injections of pure EGCG. The researchers discovered a 54 percent reduction of brain-clogging beta-amyloid.
According to senior study author Jun Tan, director of the Neuroimmunology Laboratory at the Silver Child Development Center, USF Department of Psychiatry, "the findings suggest that a concentrated component of green tea can decrease brain beta-amyloid plaque formation."
Unfortunately, drinking green tea alone was not likely have a beneficial effect.
Tan said humans would likely need 1500 to 1600 mg of EGCG daily to approximate the injection dosage that benefited the Alzheimer's mice.
In that case, EGCG would need to be extracted from green tea and put in a concentrated form like a supplement.
More studies are underway.
Rezai-Zadeh K, Shytle D, Sun N, Mori T, Hou H, Jeanniton D, Ehrhart J, Townsend K, Zeng J, Morgan D, Hardy J, Town T, Tan J. Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) modulates amyloid precursor protein cleavage and reduces cerebral amyloidosis in Alzheimer transgenic mice. J Neurosci. 2005 Sep 21;25(38):8807-14.