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Green Tea May Improve Memory for Those at Risk of Alzheimer's

Taking daily supplements of an extract made from green tea may improve memory and boost mental alertness for people at risk of developing Alzheimer's according to a study conducted recently by researchers at Chungnam National University, North Korea.

The researchers published their findings in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Foods.

91 participants with mild cognitive impairment were recruited for the study. Mild cognitive impairment is a risk factor for Alzheimer's.

At the start of the study, the participants were administered a number of tests to assess memory, mental alertness and attention. They were then randomly assigned to receive 1680mg of a green tea extract or a placebo for 16 weeks.

After 16 weeks, the researchers saw large improvements among the green tea group in memory and recall of words. They also observed “marginal” improvements in mental alertness. Additionally, brain scans showed increased activity in certain parts of the brain related to memory.

Further studies will be necessary to verify these findings but this study adds to an already impressive body of science backing the various health benefits of green tea. These benefits are usually attributed to the high level of powerful antioxidants found in green tea called polyphenols which have been shown to promote weight loss, improve heart health, aid in digestion and decrease the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

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