Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Green Tea Benefits Working Memory


Green tea is said to have many alleged positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting evidence that green tea extract enhances cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. In the past, the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research. Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage's positive impact on the human brain.
In a new study, the researcher teams of Prof. Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity (the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another). This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance. The results showed that subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.
The study included healthy male volunteers who received a soft drink containing several grams of green tea extract before they solved working memory tasks. The scientists then analyzed how this affected the brain activity of the men using an MRI. The MRI showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. These neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance of the participants. "Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain," said Borgwardt.

I’m super excited to see that green tea can affect the working memory because I probably drink a cup everyday. I would love to see more studies done on this topic to make me believe it even more. It’s great to see the many benefits of natural resources around us. Drink up guys!

Posted by Samuel Ustayev (Group C)

7 comments:

  1. This is interesting to hear about. I also drink a good amount of green tea and love to see these benefits in fact be true. I hope more studies are done regarding this topic in the future to better understand its effects on working memory.

    Morgan Matuszko

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  2. It seems the more studies they do on green tea the more benefits they find. I think I'm going to have to up my green tea quota. Its surprising how effective this drink is proving to be. Very exciting.

    Posted by: Kirk MacKinnon

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  3. This is awesome because not only is tea healthy, it's delicious! Many people now-a-days don't choose the healthy path or simply just don't know what's good for them. What specifically about the chemistry in tea makes it good for us and our memories?

    -Nicole Boisvert

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  4. It is cool that researchers have proved that green tea significantly improves cognitive function. However, the big question is if it improves cognitive abilities in the long term. If that can be proven, then green tea really is a potent drug!
    -JE

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  5. This is a great article, I am also a green tea lover and this is is a study that could benefit my health. My only question is how long after the green tea was administered were the tests applied. Short term memory, could be interpreted in many ways, minutes, hours, or days? Also is this something that could be further compared in long term memory improvement, cures for Alzheimer's have not been found, and any start is as good as any

    Posted by Thomas Flores

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    Replies
    1. That's a good question, but it doesn't say in the study specifically how long they waited to do the memory tests. The only thing it mentions is that they used an MRI that showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain.

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  6. I have always heard about the health benefits on the body and mind, but I always attributed most of these to the fact that tea is relaxing and hydrating, of course it would be healthy. But this study used a tea extract and showed that there were still health benefits, which makes me rethink my initial reasoning.

    Posted by Tim Daly

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