Drinking green tea can enhance the ability of our brains' cognitive functions especially on the working memory, Swiss scientists suggest.
Green tea has many health benefits
Green tea has been linked to many other health benefits including reducing the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This research was conducted at the University Hospital of Basel Switzerland and led by Professors Christoph Beglinger and Stefan Borgwardt.
Native to China and India, green tea is procured from the Camellia sinensis bush however unlike other teas the processing is minimal which means the leaves remain unoxidised and full of antioxidants.
Previous studies have indicated that green tea can be beneficial to the brains cognitive functions but scientists remain unclear as to the processes involved. This study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology.
The study involved 12 healthy male volunteers with an average of 24 years and participants were given milk whey-based soft drinks, some with green tea extract and some without. The volunteers did not know which they had been given.
Brain activity was then monitored via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they carried out a series of tasks involving the memory.
The study concluded that those who had been given green tea showed increased connectivity between various parts of the brain including the frontal cortex of the brain. This connectivity was linked to an improved performance on the working memory tasks.
The researchers said: “The present study shows that green tea extract enhances functional connectivity from the parietal to the frontal cortex during working memory processing in healthy controls.
“Interestingly, this effect on effective connectivity was related to the green tea induced improvement in cognitive performance.”
The researchers have recommended further study into how green tea can help with cognitive impairments such as dementia.
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