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The Aging Brain:
How Green Tea Helps Protect Older Brains


Can we avoid damage to an aging brain?

One of our greatest fears about aging is losing mental capacity, and the ability to take care of ourselves.

Over time, our bodies show reduced capacity to protect our brain tissue against free radical damage from oxidative stress, tissue atrophy or shrinkage, and subsequent loss of memory and learning capacity.

Green tea shows protection

Now several studies show that green tea catechin antioxidants can reduce this damage to the aging brain.

One of the brain's antioxidant enzymes is glutathione peroxidase which diminishes with age.

Green tea catechins protected the level of glutathione peroxidase, as well as its activity in age-acccelerated animals compared to untreated animals (Kishido T, Decline in glutathione peroxidase activity is a reason for brain senescence: consumption of green tea catechin prevents the decline in its activity and protein oxidative damage in ageing mouse brain, Biogerontology, August 2007).

Memory protected by green tea

Another report found that daily green tea for 14 months prevented memory loss and DNA oxidative damage in age-accelerated animals (Unno K, Daily consumption of green tea catechin delays memory regression in aged mice, Biogerontology, April 2007).

An earlier study showed that long-term usage of daily green tea catechins showed

  • reduced damage to DNA from oxidation,

  • protection against atrophy in the brain, and

  • protection of learning capacity and working memory.

Reference: Unno K, Suppressive effect of green tea catechins on morphologic and functional regression of the brain in aged mice with accelerated senescence (SAMP10), Experimental Gerontology, July 2004.

Drinking green tea as a daily habit

These improvements in brain structure, physiology, and function in aged animals were all achieved by consuming daily green tea for most of their lives.



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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on October 8, 2012

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