Scientists at Newcastle University in England said their research, published in the academic journal Phytotherapy Research showed that a regular “cuppa” could slow development of the affliction that fogs the memory of otherwise healthy people.
“Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, tea could potentially be another weapon in the armoury which is used to treat this disease and slow down its development,” lead researcher Ed Okello said.
The scientists found that both green and black tea inhibited the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but that coffee had no significant effect.
About one million people worldwide die from the illness annually and there is no known medical explanation for why it affects humans.
Results of laboratory tests by the university’s research team found that green and black tea inhibited the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which breaks down the chemical messenger or neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Alzheimer’s is characterised by a drop in acetylcholine.
However, green tea scored better in several tests and had a longer-lasting effect, the research showed.
“Our findings are particularly exciting as tea is already a very popular drink, it is inexpensive, and there do not seem to be any adverse side effects when it is consumed.
“Still, we expect it will be several years until we are able to produce anything marketable,” Mr Okello said.
Newcastle University is seeking funding to carry out further tests on green tea, which they hope will include clinical trials.
Their aim is to work towards the development of a medicinal tea which is specifically aimed at Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Alzheimer’s can be prevented with a cup of Green Tea, visit our website for more information at Teas.com.au
(Herald Sun, Oct 2004)