We all know that there are countless health benefits of drinking green tea. It is packed full of antioxidants benefiting a wide array of systems in the body. It is shown to improve cardiovascular health, reduce risk of type II diabetes, help with weight loss, and may even reduce the risk of getting certain cancers. Now to add another benefit to the list, it could benefit cognitive functioning.
The study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study the brain activity while participants were solving working memory tasks. The MRI images showed increased activity and connections between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain. They didn’t just see physical differences on MRI, they also found participants improved with the mental tasks tested in the study.
Researchers are hopeful that these findings will show new uses for green tea for conditions such as dementia. If green tea can consistently improve short-term plasticity of the brain and improve the working memory in healthy participants, the hope is it will show similar effects in those individuals who have deficits in this area.
André Schmidt, Felix Hammann, Bettina Wölnerhanssen, Anne Christin Meyer-Gerspach, Jürgen Drewe, Christoph Beglinger, Stefan Borgwardt. Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s00213-014-3526-1