SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

News > Research

Read more breaking news

 

 

Researchers uncover how green tea compound boosts brain function

By Nathan Gray , 06-Sep-2012

Researchers uncover how green tea compound boosts brain function

The green tea compound epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) provides benefits to memory and special learning by boosting the production of important neural cells, say researchers from China.

The research – published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research – investigated how the green tea compound influences the growth and development of important cells in the brain after previous research suggested that green tea, and the EGCG compound in particular, could boost memory and brain functions and could even be used in  the prevention and treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.
Led by Professor Yun Bai from the Third Military Medical University, China, the research team found that mice fed the green tea compound EGCG had improved learning and memory by improving object recognition and spatial memory.
Bai and his team note that whilst it has been ‘long believed’ that green tea is good for the memory, only now is there emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain."
"We proposed that EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, a process known as neurogenesis," said Bai – who revealed that his results found that the compound promotes the growth of neuronal cells both in lab tests and in mice – “generally indicating that EGCG enhances adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus.”

Brainy beverage

Bai's team focused on the epigallocatechin-3 gallate as much research has already shown that the compound is a key component of green tea and has several suggested health benefits including increased brain functioning and memory.

"We focused our research on the hippocampus, the part of the brain which processes information from short-term to long-term memory," said Bai – who revealed that the team found EGCG to boost the production of neural progenitor cells, which like stem cells can adapt, or differentiate, into various types of cells.

The researchers then used laboratory mice to discover if this increased cell production gave an advantage to memory or spatial learning.

"We ran tests on two groups of mice, one which had imbibed EGCG and a control group," said Bai. "First the mice were trained for three days to find a visible platform in their maze. Then they were trained for seven days to find a hidden platform."

They found that mice supplemented with EGCG required less time to find the hidden platform – suggesting that the compound enhances learning and memory by improving object recognition and spatial memory.

"We have shown that the organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells, both in glass tests and in mice," concluded Bai.

"This helps us to understand the potential for EGCG, and green tea which contains it, to help combat degenerative diseases and memory loss."

Source: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
Volume 56, Issue 8,  pages 1292–1303, doi:  10.1002/mnfr.201200035
“Green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) promotes neural progenitor cell proliferation and sonic hedgehog pathway activation during adult hippocampal neurogenesis”
Authors: Yanyan Wang, Maoquan Li, Xueqing Xu, Min Song, Huansheng Tao, Yun Bai

Related products

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Fytexia
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Indena
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Capsugel
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Ingredion
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
NSF-International
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Roquette
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars