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Green Tea May Improve Working Memory

For the first time, researchers have used neuroimaging methods to examine the exact effects of green tea on the human brain. They found that drinking green tea may help improve working memory, which is involved in problem solving, organizing, planning ahead and paying attention.

Twelve adults drank either 250 or 500 mL of a whey-based soft drink. Half of the drinks contained greet tea extract and half of them did not. Immediately after, the participants were asked to perform a working memory exercise while the researchers looked at their brains.

Analysis of the whole brain did not find any significant effects from the green tea. However, when the researchers looked at just the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, they found increased activation in the brains of the individuals who drank the green tea. This is the part of your brain that focuses on working memory, organization, and motor planning.

Researchers at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland conducted the study. Their findings were published online ahead of print on August 29, 2012, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This study adds to the body of science backing the various health benefits of green tea, which include promoting weight loss, improving heart health, aiding digestion and decreasing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

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