Green tea could protect against Alzheimer’s 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 tea’s 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 don’t 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 Alzheimer’s 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 Alzheimer’s 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 tea’s compounds prevented the toxins from destroying the cells. What’s more? They affected cancer cells, too, slowing growth considerably.
Cancer and dementia are huge illnesses in today’s society. This study, though preliminary, is a great step in showing one drink that just might give you loads of protection. It can’t hurt, after all.