This article highlights a recent study that reports that consumption of green tea prevents the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
As new cases of Alzheimer’s disease are expected to quadruple over the next several decades, Big Pharma researchers are plowing billions of research dollars into finding a synthetic cure for an illness that has its roots deeply seated in poor diet, excess stress and a generally unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for the giant pharmaceutical concerns, drugs have yielded nothing but dismal results as one potential miracle cure after another fail to provide any hope as new cases of the mind-robbing disease continue to mount.
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. Researchers from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute, publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explain 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.
Green tea consumption prevents protein tangles that promote Alzheimer’s disease progression
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.
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 30 to 40 percent of water-extractable polyphenols while highly oxidized black tea contains between three and 10 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.