Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Memory, Focus and Clarity:Can Green Tea Help Your Brain?

Leaf Image-Neuron Forest
You probably already heard “eat your vegetables” but today there is a new dietary mantra for improving memory, focus, cognition and  preventing or even reversing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s.

“Drink Green Tea”

Over 70 international studies now document the benefits of green tea, not only for memory and brain related diseases but also for cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, obesity, cancer and auto immune disease. 1

36 million people around the world have Alzheimers. 1 out of every 3 seniors  is believed to have some form of Alzheimers or demential related illness. 2

Using sophisticate brain scans researchers  have been able to observe and document remarkable  memory and brain benefits from green tea. More studies are underway because it is now clear there is great potential for green tea to help  those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkison’s and other diseases of the brain. It also can improve a normal adult’s memory and ability to perform mental tasks.

The cortex creates our thoughts, feelings and memories

A wrinkled layer of nerve tissue called the cortex  covers most of the brain. The nerve tissue of the cortex is what allows us to think, reason, learn and remember. This is the area most affected by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s, MS and ADEM.3

Billions of nerve cells or neurons reside in the cortex and they communicate with one another by sending nerve impulse signals along their nerve pathways.  Healthy nerve cells in the brain are densely clustered and look like tree branches in a forest with the tips of the leaves on each branch reaching out to one another.

The nerve impulses carry a slight electrical charge which allows them to jump from one nerve cell to another. As they cross the gaps or synapses between each nerve cell neurotransmitters or brain chemicals help move the signals along.

Inside each neuron a very well organized internal structure made of Tau protein allows proper nutrients to move easily within the nerve cells to keep them alive.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) produces a chain reaction 
of  nerve cell distortion and death

Protein that was once normal undergoes enzymatic changes. A sticky plaque like protein called beta amyloid breaks the nerve cells apart and makes the pieces stick together. The electrical charges that allow the nerve impulses to travel simply can’t make it through the sticky plaque. Neurotransmitters can no longer be produced and the neurons are destroyed.

The tau protein which maintains the interior structure of the neurons also changes. It gets tangled up, disintegrates so vital nutrients can no longer nourish and keep the neurons alive.

As these nerve cells begin to die-the brain actually becomes smaller. Inflammation develops in the affected areas. The cortex shrinks and hardens  while  fluid filled areas of the brain called ventricles enlarge.

AD takes away memory of loved ones, destroys the ability to communicate or even take care of one’s self.  Memory, thoughts, the ability to plan and understands things are gone. 3

ECGC in green tea reduces damage to the nerve cells and guards against the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia 4

A powerful antioxidant in green tea is epigallocatechion-3-gallate or EGCG. It is the EGCG which is the powerhouse nutrient of green tea.

EGCG appears to both dissolve the sticky plaque in the brain and regulate the naturally occurring enzymes in the brain. This allows the toxic byproducts of the beta amyloid plaque to be neutralized. 5

As this occurs the brain cells can respond to the neurotransmitters and the brains ability to think and remember can be restored and protected.

ECGC in green tea stimulates the production of 
new nerve cells in the brain:

In an aging, inflamed and diseased brain it can be very difficult to grow new nerve cells. ECGC also stimulates the growth of new neurons in the same areas that Alzheimer’s causes nerve cell death. 6

Tea Plant-Camellia Sinensis

How much green tea do we need to drink?

Two cups of green tea can boost memory ability in the brain and reduce cognitive decline by 54%. Partially roasted green tea-oolong  and black tea (fully roasted) bring more limited improvement of 13%.6

You can also use a daily dose of 750 mgs of green tea extract. Fortunately, the caffeine in tea has nothing to do with these benefits so decaffeinated tea or extract from green tea brings the same benefits. 6

If your memory, focus or ability to think clearly are not as sharp as you would like….think about drinking a few cups of green tea on a regular basis.

1.Green Tea and ObesityGreen Tea-Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
2.World Report on Alzheimer's 2013
3.Take A Tour of the Brain
4.Neurological Mechanisms of Green Tea in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease
5.Antiamyloidal Properties of ECGC
6.Neuro Effects of Green Tea Extract on Brain Activation in Humans

I enjoy hearing about your adventures in healing so let me know how you are doing.

You might also enjoy: Nutrition and Your Brain
                                 Mice, Memory and Creating Your Inner Light
                                 Environmental Toxicity and You

#a world that works for everyone

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