Brain antioxidants and free radical damage
Cells in your brain can be damaged by chemicals called free radicals. Antioxidants help protect against this damage.
Your brain is particularly susceptible because of each cell’s high metabolic needs and fatty acid structures.
A great deal of research has concentrated on the usefulness of antioxidants to protect brain function over a lifetime.
Researchers have recently tested EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), the primary antioxidant (a polyphenol flavonoid catechin) from green tea in an animal study of aging brains.
EGCG effects show brain antioxidant improvement
For 30 days, oral intake of EGCG was compared with placebo saline.
Researchers found that EGCG improved the following enzymatic antioxidants in the brain:
and the following non-enzymatic antioxidants:
Vitamin C is a water-soluble essential vitamin involved in many enzymatic reactions throughout the body. It is not synthesized by humans and must be consumed in the daily diet.
EGCG also reduced free radical damage as shown by lowering malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels in the brain (Srividhya R et al, Attenuation of senescence-induced oxidative exacerbations in aged rat brain by (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, December 2007, p 217-223).
This brain antioxidants study is preliminary and more work is needed to track functional benefits for the brain from green tea EGCG.
Every culture has treasured the gathered wisdom of their elders.
We all mourn the loss of their knowledge when their brains become too damaged by age to function.
And we ask how much more could they have contributed if they were functional longer.
So we look for ways to keep their cherished wisdom alive.
One way is to learn how to prevent age-related damage to the brain for our own quality of life, as well as for others.
A wise person once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Perhaps it can also begin with one cup of green tea.
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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