Looking for a morning brain boost Forget coffee – green tea holds the key for menResearch has shown it can help improve memory and cognition in menGreen tea is full of polyphenols, which widen blood vessels, speeding the supply of blood to the brain

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UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 28 November 2012

Looking for a quick brain pick me up before work Forget coffee – it seems green tea has the key.

A new study has found that the tea – already credited with providing a host of health benefits – can help improve memory and cognition in men.

Researchers recruited 12 healthy men and divided them into two groups.

A new study has found that green tea, already credited with providing a host of health benefits, can help improve memory and cognition in men

A new study has found that green tea, already credited with providing a host of health benefits, can help improve memory and cognition in men

One group was given a drink containing a green tea extract, while a second group was given a placebo drink without the extract.

Then, using an MRI machine, scientists studied the effects of the two drinks on the men's brains while they performed a memory test.

Compared to the placebo group, the green tea drinkers experienced an increase in the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with working memory, which you need for problem solving and focus.

The results of the new study are reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Green tea is full of polyphenols, which widen blood vessels, speeding the supply of blood to the brain, like EGCG, a strong anti-cancer chemical.

Researchers have found these health giving chemicals might be behind green tea's benefits.

Study co-author Stefan Borgwardt, of the University Hospital Basel, in Switzerland, said: 'Green tea may help prevent neurotransmitters involved in brain functioning, like dopamine and epinephrine, from degrading.

'It may also inhibit senile plaques from depositing in the brain, which impairs cognition.'

THE MANY BENEFITS OF THE ANCIENT GREEN TEA:

There are a host of health giving chemicals thought to be behind green tea's many benefits

There are a host of health giving chemicals thought to be behind green tea's many benefits

Green tea helps burn fat by speeding up the metabolic rate

It can help lower blood pressure by tackling an enzyme which triggers hypertension

Green tea can help protect against diabetes, as it contains
polyphenols which inhibit starch, and so can help lower blood sugar
levels.

It can help also prevent food poisoning as it can kill harmful bacteria

The tea can also prevent bad breath by killing oral bacteria that cause cavities and bad breath.

Green tea guards against hepatitis by decreasing iron levels throughout
the body, including those in the liver – the cause of viral hepatitis.

The tea can protect against cancer as it contains a compound called
epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps inhibit blood vessel
growth.

It can help prevent arthritis, working in much the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs.

Gargling with the tea boosts immunity to influenza and flu, according to a study in Japan.

A study also found 96 per cent of those who drank ten cups of green
tea a day showed no signs of the cognitive impairment linked to
Alzheimer's, compared to only 12 per cent who didn't drink green tea.