Green Tea May Reduce Amyloid Brain Tangles of Cognitive Decline

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Excessive formation of amyloid plaque is a common feature of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This process typically begins by the mid 30s and continues to accumulate over time until significant disruption of cognitive function is noticed. Improving your ability to prevent this accumulation is a common sense approach to maintaining better brain fitness as you age. A new study shows that green tea is one nutrient that may help.

Using the most advanced molecular tools of modern science, a multi-disciplinary research team from the University of Michigan demonstrated that the active compound of green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate – EGCG) dramatically changes the structure of amyloid proteins so they are nontoxic and do not form into problematic plaque. Another feature of some of these plaques is that they will accumulate nutritional metals such as copper, zinc, and iron. The EGCG actually took these mineral containing plaques apart, reversing the problem. These cell studies document precise molecular mechanisms.

Amyloid beta proteins are naturally made and dissolved by your body throughout life. Problems occur when brain inflammation and oxidative damage exceed your ability to keep up; this means that plaque forms faster than it can be cleaned up. This new study with EGCG is similar to other findings with grape seed extract. Both nutrients work by protecting and stabilizing brain structure to lessen the risk for inappropriate plaque buildup over time.  It is better to work on this issue long before problems manifest in a significant manner.

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