Green tea may ameliorate memory impairment, brain insulin resistance, and obesity

A study published in The FASEB Journal, by researchers from Northwest A&F University in China 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. Previous research pointed to the potential of EGCG to treat a variety of human diseases, yet until now, EGCG’s impact on insulin resistance and cognitive deficits triggered in the brain by a Western diet remained unclear.

Researchers divided 3-month-old male C57BL/6J mice into three groups based on diet: a control group fed with a standard diet, a group fed with an HFFD diet, and a group fed with an HFFD diet and 2 grams of EGCG per liter of drinking water.

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

Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries. The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combatting obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment.

Thanks for reading.

Journal Reference: Yashi Mi, Guoyuan Qi, Rong Fan, Qinglian Qiao, Yali Sun, Yuqi Gao, Xuebo Liu. EGCG ameliorates high-fat– and high-fructose–induced cognitive defects by regulating the IRS/AKT and ERK/CREB/BDNF. The FASEB Journal, 2017; fj.201700400RR DOI: 10.1096/fj.201700400RR

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