Quick – what do green tea and red lasers have in common? Well, there’s no science fiction involved and the title of this article actually tipped things off a bit. As our title suggests, researchers have found that a combination of green tea and the energy emitted by red lasers can be of some benefit in treating the increasingly widespread condition known as Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.4 million Americans are living with this disease. The condition is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States for the general population and the fifth leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. Deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased 66 percent between 2000 and 2008, while deaths from many other major diseases have decreased during that same period.
As a team of German researchers noted recently, in the results of a study that were published in the journal Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, this colorful combination of factors were shown to helpful in getting rid of the beta-amyloid plaques that are common in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, is a component in green tea that has been found to have a number of potential health benefits, including the ability to inhibit beta-amyloid plaques. The researchers applied EGCG to affected brain cells while at the same time stimulating those cells with red laser light, with the result that beta-amyloid plaques were reduced by about sixty percent. Beta-amyloid plaques that were subjected only to red laser light saw a reduction of only about twenty percent.
One of the difficulties with Alzheimer’s is getting potentially beneficial drugs to the affected areas of the brain. But researchers feel that green tea extract given orally in combination with red light may be helpful in overcoming this obstacle and similar strategies might also be used with red laser light and other types of medication.
For more information about the study, look here.
Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician for your particular needs.
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