Drinking green tea could help prevent dementia, says study

Published 6 January 2011

Regularly drinking green tea could help protect brain cells, a new study published in Phytomedicine claims.

Researchers tested the effect of a component of green tea, CAGTE once it had been digested, to see how it affected a key protein in Alzheimer's disease. The study showed that at high concentrations, CAGTE protected the cells from the toxic effects of the protein amyloid-beta.

Research has previously suggested that green tea might help prevent Alzheimer's disease although the evidence is inconsistent and as yet any possible mechanism for this is not understood. This research is different as it tested the green tea chemical in its digested form as it would be available in the body.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This study adds to previous research that suggests green tea might help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. However, the researchers used a far higher dose of the active green tea chemical than would ever be found in the human body. More research is needed to see whether green tea is protective at a much lower dose, and to understand the mechanism involved.

'Antioxidants, found in fruit, vegetables and green tea, should be part of a normal healthy diet. Research has shown that the best way to reduce your risk of developing dementia is to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, don't smoke and get your cholesterol and blood pressure regularly checked.'

Dr Anne Corbett
Research Communications Manager
Alzheimer's Society

Research Reference: 'In vitro protective effects of colon-available extract of Camellia sinensis (tea) against hydrogen peroxide and beta-amyloid (A(1-42)) induced cytotoxicity in differentiated PC12 cells.' E J Okello et al, published in Phytomedicine.

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