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New Research Provides Evidence that Tea May Improve Attention and Focus, Keep Brain Cells Healthy, & Influence Genetics in Cancer
Date:7/18/2008

t the active flavonoids in tea may have multiple mechanisms of action on a cellular level on maintaining neurological health. Mandel, who has been studying the effects of tea on brain functions in laboratory and animal models for over a decade, looked at animal models of neurological diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. An amount of purified EGCG equal to about two to four cups of green tea per day was provided to animals with induced Parkinsonism as part of their diet to evaluate how their symptoms improved or progressed. They found that when the animals are fed green tea EGCG, the polyphenol appeared to prevent brain cells from dying, and showed improvements in reducing compounds that lead to lesions in the brains of animals with Alzheimer's disease.

"In the past, it was thought that once brain cells were damaged, there was no way to repair them. Not only may the EGCG help prevent brain cells from dying, it appears that the polyphenol may even rescue the neurons, once they have been damaged, to help them repair," says Dr. Mandel.

While numerous studies have concluded that diets rich in fruits and vegetables support the body in fighting neurological decline through antioxidant mechanisms associated with their high flavonoid content, the importance of tea's polyphenolic flavonoids in supporting healthy brain cells appears to go beyond the simple oxygen species scavenging, involving pleiotropic effects on numerous biological pathways to help keep human brain cells from dying and even help repair them when they are subjected to insults that damage the cells' DNA.

Human epidemiological and new animal data from around the world suggests that drinking tea -- especially those rich in flavonoids named catechins -- may help support the brain as we age. Recent publications from earlier this year also contribute to the growing body of research on the potential neuroprotective benefits of tea polyphenols. Tan et al found an inverse association bet
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SOURCE Tea Council of the USA, Inc.
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