Tags: green tea extract | mental health | benefits

Green Tea Extract Benefits for Mental Health: How Caffeine Can Help Your Sharpness

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By    |   Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 10:50 AM

Antioxidants extracted from green tea lay claim to numerous health benefits, and some studies have found that components of the healthy beverage may even reduce stress and increase brain health.

One of the basic components of green tea — caffeine — has been shown to improve brain function through improvements in mood, reaction time, and memory, according to Authority Nutrition. And the fact that green tea doesn’t contain as much caffeine as coffee keeps people from getting that “jittery” feeling they often get from too much caffeine, the health website said.

Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine, which means neurons fire more often and dopamine and norepinephrine are increased, Authority Nutrition said. All of that activity results in better brain functioning.

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In addition, green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that works in a process that has anti-anxiety effects. L-theanine works in conjunction with caffeine to improve brain function.

Peak Nutrition reported on another study that showed green tea extract may “boost mental acuity and help with memory function.” The study also looked at the interaction between caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine. The study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods, focused on individuals who had mild cognitive impairment, Peak said.

“Following a battery of tests designed to show memory and cognitive function, those who received the green tea supplement showed ‘significant’ increases in recall memory, and some ‘marginal’ improvements in the delay in recognition,” Peak wrote. “EEG scans taken for 24 of the participants showed improvements in specific parts of the brain related to mental alertness.”

The impacts of green tea antioxidants on brain health were confirmed in another study done by Swiss researchers at the University Hospital of Basel in April 2014.

The study found that green tea extracts increased the “effective connectivity” of the brain, which refers to the “causal influence that one brain area exerts over another,” Science Daily said.

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“This effect on connectivity also led to improvement in actual cognitive performance: Subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract,” the website reported. The study used magnetic resonance imaging to see the increased connectivity in the brain of the male subjects.

Along with impacting mental clarity and alertness, green tea may impact stress levels. A Japanese study discovered that drinking five cups of green tea every day decreased psychological stress by about 20 percent, according to a report in Nutra Ingredients. The health website covered an epidemiological study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which found an inverse affect between green tea drinking and stress levels, even accounting for other factors like BMI, alcohol intake, age, and sex.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Antioxidants extracted from green tea lay claim to numerous health benefits, and some studies have found that components of the healthy beverage may even reduce stress and increase brain health.
green tea extract, mental health, benefits
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2014-50-21
Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 10:50 AM
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