Green tea protects against Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cancer

Published: 07th February 2011
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Green tea could protect against Alzheimerís disease and other types of dementia, according to a new study. It may also play a big role in shielding you from cancer. And green teaís effect may be stronger than we thought.

The study, published in "Phytomedicine," aimed to see if the protective properties of green tea were still there once the tea was digested. Previously, researchers knew that the freshly brewed form of green tea had health-promoting qualities. But could digested green tea still keep working?

Digestion is obviously a vital process that extracts and distributes nutrients we need to survive. But even though a food contains health-boosting compounds, we donít know for sure if they will be absorbed and used properly.

To that end, the study found that, when green tea is digested by enzymes in the stomach, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective at protecting against Alzheimerís disease than the green tea before it is brewed. Digested green tea also was found to have anti-cancer properties, slowing the growth of tumor cells.

Both hydrogen peroxide and a protein called "beta-amyloid" are known to be involved in Alzheimerís disease. Older studies have shown that polyphenols in black and green tea are able to protect the brain cells. The body breaks down polyphenols into a mix of compounds. It was these that were the subject of the study.

In a lab, they exposed cells to different toxins and then to the green tea compounds. What happened? Green teaís compounds prevented the toxins from destroying the cells. Whatís more? They affected cancer cells, too, slowing growth considerably.

Cancer and dementia are huge illnesses in todayís society. This study, though preliminary, is a great step in showing one drink that just might give you loads of protection. It canít hurt, after all.

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