Researchers, health experts and nutritionists have been promoting the health benefits of green tea. Growing evidence suggests that drinking green tea regularly aid weight loss as well as lower risk of several diseases including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. High in antioxidants, green tea is also known to help improve brain function. Now, a new study says daily intake of green tea may have a positive impact on people with Alzheimer's disease.
The study by researchers from Tufts University in the US suggested drinking green tea daily and having a glass of red wine occasionally may help reduce plaques in the brain associated with Alzheimer's.
How green tea helps in Alzheimer's disease?
In a lab model, the researchers found that green tea catechins and resveratrol found in red wine reduced the formation of plaques in neural cells. Three other compounds also prevented plaque formation, and they are curcumin found in turmeric, diabetic drug Metformin, and another compound called citicoline.
Catechins have strong antioxidant effect and have been studied as a potential treatment for cancers, while resveratrol is being explored for its anti-aging properties.
The researchers, however, cautioned that the beneficial effects were in the lab model and in a human patient. Yet, the discovery is significant, given the fact that there is no cure for Alzheimer's and no drugs to prevent its progression.
Science-backed benefits of green tea
If you're a diabetic, green tea is a healthy beverage for you as it contains zero sugar, and is low in calories. Studies have shown that regular intake of green tea can help lower fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin levels significantly. Researchers believe that catechins found in green tea leaves may be responsible for this health benefit, thought it isn't completely clear.
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Regular consumption of green tea is also associated with reduced risk of heart disease and related complications including stroke. For example, a 2020 review of research concluded that regular green tea intake helps lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol. Also, it helps improve function of blood vessels, reduce inflammation and protect heart cells from damage.
Green tea contains a healthy amount of caffeine that helps boost brain function. Additionally, green tea contains amino acid L-theanine, another brain-boosting compound. Some studies suggest gree tea may also protect the brain from aging.
Compounds in green tea have also been linked to reduced risk of certain cancers including breast, prostate and colorectal.
Side effects of green tea
Research has found no serious side effects of drinking green tea. However, some studies say catechins may increase liver enzymes in animals. Oxalate, a compound found in green tea, is linked to kidney stones. Hence, experts suggests that limit green tea to five cups or less a day to get it benefits and avoid the side effects.