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Tea With Caffeine, High Cholesterol, Alzheimer's Research


Tea with caffeine

Many people worry about too much caffeine in their diets and overlook any benefits from caffeinated beverages like green or black teas.

Now, a study shows that daily caffeine can help protect the brain even when there are high levels of cholesterol measured in the blood.

High cholesterol is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Caffeine protects against blood-brain barrier leakage

Scientists are studying the relationship of leakage in the blood-brain barrier as it relates to high cholesterol and Alzheimer's, as well as other brain disorders.

Studying animals fed a high cholesterol diet, researchers gave the test animals daily caffeine.

After 12 weeks, results showed that caffeinated test animals had a significantly more intact blood-brain barrier than the controls.

The mechanisms that prevented leakage were:

  • blocking extraversion of IgG,

  • blocking fibrogen,

  • maintenance of tight junction proteins,

  • maintenance of normal astrocyte activity, and

  • maintenance of microglia density.

Reference: Geiger JD, Caffeine blocks disruption of blood brain barrier in a rabbit model of Alzheimer's disease, Journal of Neuroinflammation, April, 2008.

This study is considered preliminary.

The amount of caffeine used in this study would be the equivalent of 5 to 10 cups of green tea daily (which is the amount usually associated with significant benefits in other research studies) or 2 to 5 cups of the more heavily caffeinated black tea.

Black tea studies

It is interesting to note that black tea has shown slightly better results for risk reduction of other brain conditions like cerebrovascular stroke or Parkinson's disease.

So, think about putting on the kettle and having a nice cup of tea today (if appropriate for your health). It could help protect your brain.

Related articles:

What are the benefits of tea with caffeine?

How much is too much?

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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.

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