Green tea boosts your brain

April 7, 2014
Green tea boosts your working memory. Credit: Kanko from Nagasaki, Japan

Green tea is said to have many putative positive effects on health. Now, researchers at the University of Basel are reporting first evidence that green tea extract enhances the cognitive functions, in particular the working memory. The Swiss findings suggest promising clinical implications for the treatment of cognitive impairments in psychiatric disorders such as dementia. The academic journal Psychopharmacology has published their results.

In the past the main ingredients of green tea have been thoroughly studied in cancer research. Recently, scientists have also been inquiring into the beverage's positive impact on the human brain. Different studies were able to link green tea to beneficial effects on the cognitive performance. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this cognitive enhancing effect of green tea remained unknown.

Better memory

In a new study, the researcher teams of Prof. Christoph Beglinger from the University Hospital of Basel and Prof. Stefan Borgwardt from the Psychiatric University Clinics found that green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity, meaning the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another. This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual : Subjects tested significantly better for tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

For the study healthy male volunteers received a soft drink containing several grams of before they solved working memory tasks. The scientists then analyzed how this affected the brain activity of the men using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI showed increased connectivity between the parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. These neuronal findings correlated positively with improvement in task performance of the participants. "Our findings suggest that green tea might increase the short-term synaptic plasticity of the brain", says Borgwardt.

Clinical implications

The research results suggest promising : Modeling effective connectivity among frontal and parietal brain regions during working memory processing might help to assess the efficacy of for the treatment of cognitive impairments in neuropsychiatric disorders such as dementia.

Explore further: Research suggests that green tea, exercise boost weight loss, health

More information: Schmidt A, Hammann F, Wölnerhanssen B, Meyer-Gerspach AC, Drewe J, Beglinger C, Borgwardt S. Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology. 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24643507 DOI: 10.1007/s00213-014-3526-1

Related Stories

Research suggests that green tea, exercise boost weight loss, health

April 2, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Mice on a high-fat diet that consumed decaffeinated green tea extract and exercised regularly experienced sharp reductions in final body weight and significant improvements in health, according to researchers ...

Will green tea help you lose weight?

April 29, 2013
Evidence has shown that green tea extract may be an effective herbal remedy useful for weight control and helping to regulate glucose in type 2 diabetes. In order to ascertain whether green tea truly has this potential, Jae-Hyung ...

Food for thought: Ingredients and foods that give memory a boost

January 14, 2013
While there's no magic pill that protects and boosts memory, there are several foods that consumers can easily incorporate into their diets that can help.

Green tea reduces cholesterol risk

July 8, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Xin-Xin Zheng reports that green tea reduces LDL and total cholesterol. This could explain the reasoning behind green tea’s ...

Study finds green tea reduces inflammation, may inhibit prostate cancer tumor growth

October 19, 2012
Men with prostate cancer who consumed green tea prior to undergoing prostatectomy had reductions in markers of inflammation, according to data presented at the 11th Annual AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer ...

Higher as well as regular tea consumption benefits found

December 12, 2012
The benefits of tea drinking have been shown again in a study that has found the risk of ovarian cancer is reduced in tea drinkers.

Recommended for you

Psychologists say our 'attachment style' applies to social networks like Facebook

July 24, 2017
A new investigation appearing this week in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests a strong association between a person's attachment style—how avoidant or anxious people are in their close relationships—and ...

Higher cognitive abilities linked to greater risk of stereotyping

July 24, 2017
People with higher cognitive abilities are more likely to learn and apply social stereotypes, finds a new study. The results, stemming from a series of experiments, show that those with higher cognitive abilities also more ...

Neuroticism may postpone death for some

July 24, 2017
Data from a longitudinal study of over 500,000 people in the United Kingdom indicate that having higher levels of the personality trait neuroticism may reduce the risk of death for individuals who report being in fair or ...

World-first ketamine trial shows promise for geriatric depression

July 24, 2017
Australian researchers have completed the world's first randomised control trial (RCT) assessing the efficacy and safety of ketamine as a treatment for depression in elderly patients.

Musicians have high prevalence of eating disorders, study finds

July 24, 2017
They may live for the limelight and the call of their muse, but musicians may also be prone to eating disorders, according to new research.

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication

July 20, 2017
Despite numerous obstacles and severe withdrawal effects, long-term users of psychiatric drugs can stop taking them if they choose, and mental health care professionals could be more helpful to such individuals, according ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.