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Green Tea Adds Fighting Alzheimer’s to its Long List of Benefits

Update Date: Mar 06, 2013 01:41 PM EST

Green tea has been known for its ability in fighting heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancer, lowering cholesterol, burning fat, and delaying dementia in older people. According to a new study, green tea can add fighting Alzheimer's to its lengthy list of benefits. Alzheimer's is a form of dementia that leads to memory loss, poor cognitive thinking skills, and change in behavior. The study, conducted by Mi Hee Lim, faculty member of the Life Sciences Institute discovered a particular extract found in green tea that can help slow down the development of Alzheimer's. Lim's study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The development of Alzheimer's has been linked to the aggregation of the metal-associated protein, amyloids, which are also responsible for other deteriorating neurological conditions. The extract, epigallocatechin-3-gallate also known as EGCG, found in green tea appears to be able to prevent the buildup of amyloids linked to Alzheimer's. EGCG was also responsible for breaking down clusters of amyloids found in proteins that contained iron, copper and zinc.

"A lot of people are very excited about this molecule," said Lim. "We want to modify them for the brain, specifically to interfere with the plaques associated with Alzheimer's." The study did not find that drinking more green tea would directly prevent Alzheimer's. However, the findings reveal an optimistic step toward research for treating Alzheimer's, which currently does not have a cure. Lim's next research goal is to find a way to use the molecule in preventing plaque buildup that is also associated with Alzheimer's. She will collaborate with Bing Ye, a neurobiologist and fellow member of the Life Sciences Institute.

The research team was comprised of chemists, biochemists and biophysicists.

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