For more than a decade, nutrition scientists have been heralding a small number of natural compounds including resveratrol, curcumin and EGCG from green tea extracts that easily cross the blood-brain barrier to promote brain health and improve cognitive function—but can these compounds prevent neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute indicate it’s a possibility. Their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains how extracts from green tea may block the formation of beta-amyloid plaques that have been linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions that prevent the misfolding of specific proteins in the brain.
Improper accumulations of proteins known as metal-associated amyloids are a hallmark sign of many neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s dementia. Researchers used green tea extract to control the generation of metal-associated amyloid-beta aggregates associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Building on a volume of prior studies suggesting a protective role for regular green tea consumption, the team set out to establish a beneficial relationship between the active compound in green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, also known as EGCG) and the formation of amyloid plaques.
Drink 3 to 5 Cups of Green Tea Daily to Drastically Reduce Alzheimer’s Disease Risk
The scientists determined that EGCG prevented the formation of amyloid tangles by preventing protein misfolding, and broke down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained metals, specifically copper, iron and zinc. Referring specifically to the bioactive catechin, EGCG, lead study author Dr. Mi Hee Lim concluded, “A lot of people are very excited about this molecule… we want to modify them for the brain, specifically to interfere with the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s”.
Nutrition experts note that green tea contains thirty to forty percent of water-extractable polyphenols while highly oxidized black tea contains between three and ten percent. White tea has undergone less oxidation than green tea and provides the most potent dose of EGCG catechins. A wealth of scientific evidence supports drinking three to five cups of green or white tea every day to support cardiovascular health and prevent protein aggregates in the brain that significantly increase Alzheimer’s disease risk.
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and diet, health and nutrition researcher and author with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives. Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource