How Drinking Tea Could Lead to Better Memory

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           How Drinking Tea Could Lead to Better Memory

Recently, we published an article on caffeine and how it could help with
dementia. A lot people responded to this article with comments — including one
question about whether caffeinated tea could be neuroprotective in the same way
that coffee is. The short answer to that is: yes. Japanese researchers recently
studied the brain-protecting effects of a special compound in tea called
Theanine is found in tea leaves (“Camellia sinensis”). It has a similar chemical
structure to glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter related to memory. The
Japanese research team found that once theanine passes through the blood-brain
barrier, it exerts a brain-protective effect. They also found that the tea compound
exerts a preventive effect on neuronal cell death after transient cerebral ischemia.
“Transient cerebral ischemia” is a medical phrase used to describe a mini-stroke.
The fewer brain cells that die during one of these mini-strokes, the better the
chances of recovering without any brain damage — which is exactly what
theanine seems to help with.

For their study, the research team conducted an investigation of elderly persons
with normal or slight cognitive dysfunction. All the volunteers ingested
powdered green tea containing a high theanine concentration. They showed
significantly lower decline in cognitive function compared with that of a placebo
group. This result suggested that theanine might even be able to improve
cognitive dysfunction in elderly persons.

Other studies have suggested that it’s the combination of theanine and caffeine
that could help improve cognitive performance. A dose of theanine and caffeine
prior to performing a demanding cognitive task may significantly improve
accuracy and alertness. These two ingredients together could help increase your
ability to focus.

The next time you drink a cup of green tea, you could very well be protecting
yourself from the kind of cognitive brain decline that leads to diseases such as
Alzheimer’s. At the very least, this “brain food” will give you a big dose of
health-boosting antioxidants.

Read more on the health benefits of drinking green tea.

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Description: Theanine, a compound found in tea leaves, is shown to exert neuroprotective effects.