Chemicals found in green tea can boost your memory and learning skills, a new study has found.
Researchers from the Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China found that chemical properties of green tea affect the generation of brain cells, providing benefits for memory and spatial learning.
Scientists said it has long been believed that drinking green tea is good for the memory.
Spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about one’s environment and its spatial orientation.
“There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain,” Professor Yun Bai said.
The study focussed on the organic chemical EGCG, (epigallocatechin—3 gallate) a key property of green tea.
While EGCG is a known anti—oxidant, the team believed it can also have a beneficial effect against age—related degenerative diseases.
“We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis,” said Bai in a statement.
“We focused our research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short—term to long—term memory,” Bai said.
The researchers found that ECGC boosts the production of neural progenitor cells, which like stem cells can adapt, or differentiate, into various types of cells.
The team then used laboratory mice to discover if this increased cell production gave an advantage to memory or spatial learning.
“We ran tests on two groups of mice, one which had imbibed ECGC and a control group,” Bai said in a statement.
The mice were trained for three days to find a visible platform in their maze. Then they were trained for seven days to find a hidden platform.
Researchers found that the ECGC treated mice required less time to find the hidden platform. Overall the results revealed that EGCG enhances learning and memory by improving object recognition and spatial memory.
“We have shown that the organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells, both in glass tests and in mice,” Bai said.
The study was published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.