Green Tea May Ameliorate Brain Drain Linked to Western Diets

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A molecular compound in green tea called Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) appears to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties that may ameliorate memory impairment associated with a high-fat, high-fructose diet (HFFD), according to a new study on mice. This first-of-its-kind research on EGCG was published online before print July 24 by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in The FASEB Journal. 

“Many reports, anecdotal and to some extent research-based, are now greatly strengthened by this more penetrating study,” Thoru Pederson, UMass Medical School professor of cell biology and professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, and the editor-in-chief of FASEB said in a statement.

Before diving into the details of the latest green tea study, there is an important disclaimer: As a public health advocate and science-based wellness writer, I am always cautious when reporting about any new research that might be misinterpreted as implying that a specific food, beverage, or supplement is some type of “magic elixir” for the body, mind, and/or brain.

We all know that dietary fads will come and go. And, when it comes to any type of nutritional advice, there tend to be lots of strong opinions supported by very little empirical evidence. All too often, dietary research is funded by industry lobbyists with a profit motive and should be taken with a grain of salt. Of course, radically changing your diet based on a singular scientific study or societal trends—such as strictly eating “gluten-free” (if you don’t have celiac disease)—is never a good idea. 

Clearly, human studies on the potential neuroprotective benefits of EGCG and green tea are necessary before drawing any ironclad conclusions or giving prescriptive dietary advice. Additionally, if EGCG does prove to ameliorate the brain drain of a Western diet in humans, please use common sense and don’t…

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