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Secrets of green tea


A cup of green tea every day could fend off Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. As well as cancer. The latest research from Newcastle University comes to this conclusion.

The team wanted to know if the active, protective properties of green tea stayed that way once the tea had been digested. The digestive process is of course necessary but also destroys healthful components of some foods and herbs before it can be absorbed by the body. One can never assume healthful nutrients survive digestion.

"What was really exciting about this study was that we found when green tea is digested by enzymes in the gut the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer's development than the undigested form of the tea," explains Dr Okello, based in the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development at Newcastle University. I'm pouring myself a hot steaming cup right now.

"In addition to this we also found the digested compounds had anti-cancer properties, significantly slowing down the growth of the tumor cells which we were using in our experiments." I'm pouring myself a second cup.

Previous studies had shown the polyphenols in black and green tea would bind with toxic compounds and protect the brain. However, when ingested, polyphenols break down. Whether or not they were still useful was the question the team wanted to answer.

"It's one of the reasons why we have to be so careful when we make claims about he health benefits of various foods and supplements," explains Dr. Okello. But in the end, the news is good: "The digested chemicals protected the cells, preventing the toxins from destroying the cells."

The next step is to get out of the lab and into real, human digestive systems.

Source: Newcastle University, ScinceDaily


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