Green tea may help fight memory loss, obesity: study

Beijing: Drinking green tea may help combat memory impairment, insulin resistance and obesity, a study has claimed.

The study involving mice, suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), the most abundant catechin and biologically active component in green tea, could alleviate high-fat and high-fructose (HFFD)-induced insulin resistance and cognitive impairment.

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin levels are sufficiently high over a prolonged period of time causing the body’s own sensitivity to the hormone.

“Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries,” said Xuebo Liu, a researcher at Northwest A&F University in China.

“The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combating obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment,” said Liu.

Liu and colleagues divided three-month-old male mice into three groups based on diet: a control group fed a standard diet, a group fed an HFFD diet, and a group fed an HFFD diet and two grammes of EGCG per litre of drinking water.

For 16 weeks, researchers monitored the mice and found that those fed HFFD had a higher final body weight than the control mice, and a significantly higher final body weight than the mice fed both HFFD and EGCG (HFFD+EGCG group).

In performing a Morris water maze test, researchers found that mice in the HFFD group took longer to find the platform compared to mice in the control group.

The HFFD+EGCG group had a significantly lower escape latency and escape distance than the HFFD group on each test day.

When the hidden platform was removed to perform a probe trial, HFFD-treated mice spent less time in the target quadrant when compared with control mice, with fewer platform crossings.

The HFFD+EGCG group exhibited a significant increase in the average time spent in the target quadrant and had greater numbers of platform crossings, showing that EGCG could improve HFFD-induced memory impairment, researchers said.

The research was published in The FASEB Journal.