You can go ahead and add your brain to the long list of body parts that can benefit from green tea.
Researchers recently discovered that green tea extract–and in particular, the antioxidant-packed polyphenol EGCG–can block the formation of beta amyloid. (That’s the primary component of the brain-based deposits that characterize Alzheimer’s disease.)
What’s more, this new study showed that green tea can also break down existing protein deposits containing copper, iron, and zinc. And these “metal-associated amyloids” in particular are hallmarks of serious neurodegenerative diseases–including Alzheimer’s.
It’s only laboratory data. So there’s no saying for certain how powerful green tea will prove against amyloid plaque in a clinical setting.
But this isn’t exactly a deal-breaker. Because as I’ve mentioned before, green tea has plenty of other perks–against everything from cancer and diabetes to heart disease and depression.
Suffice it to say that getting your daily fill is a smart move in more ways than one.
“Insights into antiamyloidogenic properties of the green tea extract (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate toward metal-associated amyloid-ß species.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 5;110(10):3743-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1220326110. Epub 2013 Feb 20.