Credits: James Maclennan / Special to Sun Media
The organic chemical EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate) can improve cognitive function and help people process information with their short- and long-term memory, a new study has found.
"There is emerging evidence that (green tea's) chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain," researcher Yun Bai of the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China, said in a release about the study Wednesday.
The team found EGCG boosts the production of neural progenitor cells, which like stem cells can adapt into various types of cells.
The researchers used mice to look at whether increasing EGCG cell production helps memory.
A group that received EGCG and a control group were trained for three days to find a visible platform in a maze. Then they were trained for seven days to find a hidden platform.
The researchers found the EGCG-treated mice needed less time to find the hidden platform.
"We have shown that the organic chemical EGCG acts directly to increase the production of neural progenitor cells," Bai said. "This helps us to understand the potential for EGCG, and green tea which contains it, to help combat degenerative diseases and memory loss."
The study was published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.