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CHEMICAL IN GREEN TEA MAY STAVE OFF ALZHEIMER'S

Researchers at the University of South Florida have discovered that green tea may offer another potential health benefit - protecting the brain against the ravages of Alzheimer's disease.

A component in green tea prevented Alzheimer's-like damage in the brains of mice genetically programmed to develop the neurodegenerative disease process. The component, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a major antioxidant in green tea..

After treating Alzheimer's mice for several months with daily injections of pure EGCG, the researchers observed a dramatic decrease -  as much as 54% -  of beta-amyloid Alzheimer's brain plaques.

"The findings suggest that a concentrated component of green tea can decrease brain beta-amyloid plaque formation," said senior study author Jun Tan, PhD, MD. "If beta-amyloid pathology in this Alzheimer's mouse model is representative of Alzheimer's disease pathology in humans, EGCG dietary supplementation may be effective in preventing and treating the disease."

Journal of Neuroscience - September 21, 2005;25:8807-14.

http://www.jneurosci.org/