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Research from China suggests that drinking green tea may provide benefits beyond protecting us against cardiovascular diseases, esophageal cancer, high blood pressure and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
In studies with mice, the investigators found that epigallocatechin-3 galate (EGCG), an antioxidant found in green tea, boosts production of neural progenitor cells. These progenitor cells can help promote neurogenesis – the formation of new brain cells (neurons) in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that transfers information from short term to long-term memory.
They found that, in mice, the new cells appear to improve memory, learning and combat degenerative diseases. They also saw that those mice treated with EGCG and trained to find visible and hidden platforms in a maze could do it faster than mice that didn’t receive EGCG, a feat suggesting that EGCG has the potential to hold off memory loss and foster spatial learning.