Green Tea Sampler - chock full of memory enhancers? Hope so! (ETS image)

Green Tea Sampler – chock full of memory enhancers? Hope so! (ETS image)

I would drink green tea if there were no beneficial side effects at all – and for black tea that goes even more so. But as we all must surely know by now there are a lot of claims made for tea’s alleged benefits and many of these are focused on green tea.

One of the more recent of these claims is good news for anyone who’s been feeling a bit forgetful. According to researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland, green tea can help to enhance your memory. Subjects who took part in the study were given green tea extract in a beverage or a protein drink that was designed to simulate green tea (which is an interesting notion in itself).

Following that, the participants complete some tasks that tested their memory. Those who were given the green tea tended to perform better on those tasks. And, as one summary put it, “their brains showed a distinctly different activation pattern between their frontal and parietal lobes.” As said summary further noted, green tea improves communications between these areas of the brain and ultimately “boosts the neural juice that fuels memory.”

Which is somewhat promising, as far as it goes. If there’s anything about the study that could be construed as a downside it’s that there were only 12 subjects involved. It’s also important to note that green tea extract is considerably more concentrated than the stuff you drink from a cup. You’ll have to drink a fair amount of tea to get the same results but there are certainly worse things you could be doing with your day.

To access an abstract and the full results of this study, which appeared in the journal Psychopharmacology, look here. For more on this theme go back to this article I wrote about an earlier study that looked at the potential benefits green tea can have on memory. In a slightly different vein, here’s an article that looks at how green tea can help guard against Alzheimer’s disease.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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